Air New Zealand attracting offshore visitors with expanded capacity and fleet investment

Air New Zealand is making a significant investment in its fleet, capacity and marketing to improve the flying experience for customers and support New Zealand's tourism industry.
10 May 2023
  • $3.5 billion in new aircraft and retrofitting of its existing fleet over the next five years
  • In final negotiations to secure another Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
  • Flying 4.5 million seats across 39 international routes between March and October
  • Domestic network returns to pre-Covid capacity and international network back to 91%
  • $30 million investment in marketing New Zealand destination.

The airline announced at TRENZ 2023 that it will be flying 4.5 million seats on 39 international routes, between March and October this year, alongside significant investments in its international fleet.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says these investments sends a clear message that the airline is committed to grow and support New Zealand tourism all year round.

"Our fleet investment, capacity update, and marketing spend represent a significant commitment to New Zealand's tourism industry. By investing in new and retrofitted aircraft, adding more seats to our international routes, and increasing our marketing presence in key markets, we're making it even easier for visitors to tick New Zealand off their bucket lists."

Fleet investment

The investment includes $3.5 billion in the purchase of eight new 787-9 Dreamliners and five Airbus A320neo aircraft to add more seats on the Tasman and Pacific Island services. This includes the interior refurbishment of its 14 Boeing 787 aircraft, including the airline's new Business Premier Luxe and refreshed cabins. Work is expected to start next year.

The airline is also in final negotiations to secure another Boeing 777-300ER, which could add 3,000 more seats per week to the airline's international network. This would bring the total 777-300 fleet to eight.

"We're proud to be making this investment in our fleet and in the future of air travel. Investing in new and retrofitted aircraft will help us attract even more premium leisure customers from the Pacific Rim to New Zealand, boosting the growth of our tourism industry.

"It's a significant investment, reflecting our commitment to delivering the best flying experience for our customers in the short and long term."

Capacity update

"Across our international network, capacity is back to about 91 percent of pre-Covid and bookings are steady."

Air New Zealand's North America network is close to pre-Covid levels, with more seats from Houston, San Francisco, and Vancouver.

"Our New York route is special, and a valuable and promising market for New Zealand. The route has demonstrated strong demand since its launch in September and presents untapped potential for us to attract high-value customers and showcase the best of what our country has to offer."

Later this year, the airline's alliance partner, United Airlines, will launch new routes from San Francisco-Christchurch and Los Angeles-Auckland, further growing North America capacity.

Air New Zealand's capacity on its Asia network is at 117 percent of pre-Covid levels, with Singapore remaining a key hub, particularly for connecting to India and Europe. Demand out of China is slowly rebuilding, and the airline's alliance partner, Air China, has restarted its Beijing-Auckland route. Capacity on Air New Zealand's Tasman and Pacific Island network is also nearing pre-Covid levels.

The airline's domestic network is back to pre-Covid levels. Air New Zealand has added 5,000 seats a week to Christchurch, connecting the Garden City more often to Hamilton, Napier, and Nelson, and added 6,000 seats on regional flights out of Auckland and to main centres.

Supporting New Zealand tourism

To support its commitment to New Zealand tourism, Air New Zealand is investing $30 million in marketing campaigns this financial year in key markets to target high-quality visitors. The airline is also continuing to rebuild its offshore Sales and Marketing teams and has been steadily elevating its brand in key offshore markets.

"We know it's not just about bringing overseas visitors to New Zealand but also giving them plenty of options to explore around Aotearoa New Zealand.

"Our significant capacity increases across our international and domestic network, coupled with our marketing investment, will help to showcase New Zealand to the world and attract more quality visitors to our shores," says Mr Foran.



Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

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 104 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 7.3 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, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety. Last 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. 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.