A star is born as Air New Zealand unveils new Star Alliance aircraft

Kiwis will see a new star in the sky over Aotearoa as Air New Zealand reveals its world-first Star Alliance livery.
29 August 2022

The airline's newest A321neo will sport a one-of-a-kind look - a jet black Star Alliance livery.

Air New Zealand's Chief Transformation and Alliances Officer Mike Williams says the A321neo is the world's first black Star Alliance aircraft.

"While Star Alliance livery is typically white with a black tail fin, we asked if we could do something a little different and inverse the colours in celebration of how important black is to Air New Zealand and New Zealand.

"Black is an iconic Kiwi colour. From sports jerseys to gumboots, black is embedded in New Zealand's national identity and worn with pride, so it's fantastic to welcome this aircraft with its special black livery into our fleet.

"Kiwis missing the Koru need not look too far - our iconic mangōpare will feature on the wingtips in this one-off design."

Star Alliance Vice President for Alliance Development and Communications Siu Ling Fock says "as the largest and longest-running airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance honours each of our 26 member airlines' distinct heritage, character and style. We know the significance of the colour black to New Zealanders, so when Air New Zealand proposed to launch the first-ever all-black aircraft with Star Alliance livery, we were happy to agree. This launch also comes at a special time for Star Alliance, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year."

"Since Air New Zealand joined us as a member in 1999, we've been proud to have them be a part of the Star Alliance network that flies people to destinations all over the world, from Canada to Croatia, and Turkey to Thailand."

The new aircraft, which can seat up to 217 customers, will be one of three A321neos to join the airline's fleet in the coming months, helping get customers to where they need to be in time for the busy Christmas and holiday period.

The aircraft will fly on the airline's domestic network so there will be plenty of opportunities for Kiwi plane spotters to see the unique livery.

It is expected to touch down in November, after making the 17,825km journey from the Airbus factory in Hamburg in Germany, through Muscat, Kuala Lumpur and Cairns, before arriving in Auckland.

"Demand for travel is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, so we're excited that these aircraft will help add much needed capacity on our domestic routes – they won't be sitting on the tarmac for long!

"We are proud that this special domestic A321neo will soon be flying customers from our fellow Star Alliance members across Aotearoa."

Another A321neo, which will be painted in the Air New Zealand's classic black and white livery, is expected to arrive in September.

Air New Zealand has an average fleet age of 7.3 years making it one of the youngest and most efficient fleets in the world.

The new aircraft will go through a process to get it ready for service once they arrive.


Note to editor

Images of the new Star Alliance livery and it being painted can be found here.



Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

Email: media@airnz.co.nz │Twitter: @AirNZMedia 

About Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand's story started in 1940, first taking to the skies between Auckland and Sydney on a flying boat - a Short S30. Known for its warm Kiwi hospitality, today, the airline has 98 operating aircraft ranging from Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A320s to ATRs and Q300s, offering customers comfort in the latest most efficient jets and turboprops. It's a modern fuel-efficient fleet with an average age of 6.7 years. Air New Zealand's global network of passenger and cargo services centres around New Zealand. Pre-Covid, the airline flew more than 17 million passengers every year, with 3,400 flights per week. Air New Zealand was recently named the World's Safest Airline by the Australian rating service AirlineRatings.com, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety. This year, Air New Zealand won Best Corporate Reputation in New Zealand – 8th year in a row.

Air New Zealand has a well-connected domestic business, connecting customers and cargo to 20 different regions around New Zealand. Internationally, the airline has direct flights to major cities across Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the US, and through its strong relationships with alliance partners, offers customers more choice and convenience to connect further afield to hundreds of destinations. Air New Zealand has a particular focus on sustainability and its Sustainability Framework  helps guide the airline's efforts in tackling some of New Zealand's and the world's most complex challenges. Airpoints, Air New Zealand's loyalty programme, is seen as the most valuable loyalty programme in New Zealand with 3.5 million members. It allows members to earn Airpoints Dollars™ and Status Points for VIP benefits in the air and on the ground. Air New Zealand aircraft are proudly identified by its distinct tail livery of the Mangōpare, the Māori symbol of the hammerhead shark which represents strength, tenacity, and resilience.


About Star Alliance

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.