According to Reuters, Air New Zealand Ltd has decided to buy wide-body planes from Boeing Company ending an 18 month battle between the U.S. aircraft manufacturer and their European rival Airbus. The final choices under consideration were the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

The airline has been considering replacing eight Boeing 777-200ER aircraft (the average age of which is 13.4 years) in a deal worth over $2 billion at list prices, though carriers typically receive steep discounts. 

Boeing Wins Air New Zealand Contract
Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 (By Mark Harris)

“They are both fantastic aircraft” New Zealand Chief Financial Officer Jeff McDowall said in an interview with the New Zealand Herald that ran Saturday.

“Both produce a fantastic customer experience compared to the existing aircraft but also a lower cost and lower carbon emissions… We expect to make a decision soon, in the next month”

Air New Zealand began a two-year cost reduction program in March and deferred aircraft capital expenditure of about $490.1 million, as part of a business review.

Currently, Air New Zealand has a fleet of 64 aircraft; they use exclusively Airbus planes for their narrow body fleet and Boeing planes for their wide body fleet. The airline already operates 13 787-9’s and has one more on order.

Feature Image by George Lau