Air New Zealand’s new all black Boeing 777-300ER was treated to a hero’s welcome today as it landed at London Heathrow. The all black Boeing officially begins flying the London – Los Angeles - Auckland route this week and was ceremoniously greeted at the gate by the cabin crew to celebrate.
Air New Zealand took delivery of the world’s largest commercially operated aircraft painted completely black this month and by mid-2012 the all black Boeing will be landing in Heathrow twice a week.
The new aircraft’s livery highlights Air New Zealand’s long-time sponsorship of the recently crowned World Champion All Blacks rugby team.
“The all black colour scheme and silver fern are a key part of both New Zealand’s and the All Blacks’ identity, so we’re excited to be able to take that iconic imagery to the world on a flying billboard that’s more than 242 feet (73.9 metres) long,” says Air New Zealand Group General Manager International Airline Christopher Luxon.
“It will certainly get people’s attention when they see it landing at its main destinations of Auckland, Los Angeles and London Heathrow airports over the coming year.”
According to Boeing, painting the aircraft took just over a week, two days longer than it normally takes to paint a 777 aircraft. 185 gallons (700 litres) of chrome-free primer and paint was used and involved a total of 14 painters working in shifts 24 hours a day.