Air New Zealand has signed a contract with Airbus for five A320 Family aircraft which, together with ten leased aircraft of the same type and options to acquire a further 20, will make it a major new Airbus customer in the Pacific region. This means that Air New Zealand will eventually operate up to 35 Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
The deal completes the selection of Airbus aircraft announced by Air New Zealand in July this year. It also highlights Airbus’ success in 2002, during which it has continued to win valuable new business from several major “flag carriers” around the world - despite the challenging times faced by the air transport industry.
Air New Zealand will receive its first Airbus A320 in October 2003. It plans to use its initial fleet of 15 A320s on flights between Australia and New Zealand, as well as on Pacific Island services. Subsequent A320 family aircraft would then be a natural replacement for Air New Zealand’s domestic aircraft fleet.
The choice of which engines will power the A320s has yet to be announced.
Airbus’ A320 Family features the most modern design, the widest and most comfortable cabin, and the best commonality of any single-aisle aircraft. It also has great economics, low maintenance costs, transcontinental range, and a proven worth as an excellent financial investment. The A320 is thus a firm favourite with passengers, invariably coming top in independent surveys, as well as consistently leading in financial and operator polls.
Widely accepted as the industry standard, the best-selling Airbus A320 Family comes in four different sizes - the 107-seat A318, 124 seat A319, 150 seat A320 and 185 seat A321. All of them share the same airframe - only the fuselage lengths are different - plus the same cockpits, systems and engines, delivering unmatched commonality and savings to airlines.
Firm orders for the best-selling A320 family now approach 3,000, almost 2,000 of which have been delivered, with some 130 customers and operators.
Airbus has a long-established and increasingly strong presence in the Pacific, where most of the major airlines have made Airbus aircraft the cornerstone of their future fleets.
A leading aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, Airbus is a global company with design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK, and Spain as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Japan. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE SYSTEMS.