Air New Zealand has placed an order for eight Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners with 20 options in a deal worth $2.7 billion at list prices.

Aggressively competing for the order was the Airbus A350, however reports from Reuters earlier last week outlined the airline had selected Boeing jets to replace their ageing fleet of eight Boeing 777-200ERs.

Rather than sticking with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines that power their fleet of 13 787-9 Dreamliners, Air New Zealand has made the switch to General Electric, which they made very clear in their unveiling video this morning.

Despite Air New Zealand suffering from ongoing groundings of their 787-9 Dreamliners thanks to Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine problems, the airline notes the move to General Electric was not related, instead stating they’re the best engines for their operational plans.

The following table outlines some specs of both engine types:

Engine Type Thrust (lbs) Bypass Ratio Weight (kg) Fan Size (cm)
Rolls-Royce Trent 1000/TEN ~71,000 8.8:1 6120 285
General Electric GEnx ~76,100 10:1 6147 282
Air New Zealand orders Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9

As a whole, the aircraft shares 95% parts, maintenance and pilot commonality with the smaller 787-9 Dreamliner which they were the first to receive.

The 787-10 has the lowest range out of the 787-8 and 787-9, however offers a 15% increase in passenger and cargo capacity. With only 6,430 nautical miles (11,910km) to play with, its unlikely Air New Zealand will be using this aircraft to fly their route-in-planning, Auckland to New York, in its current configuration.

“The game changer for us has been that by working closely with Boeing, we’ve ensured the 787-10 will meet our network needs, including the ability to fly missions similar to our current 777-200 fleet.”


Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon

What’s interesting about this statement is there were rumors that Air New Zealand was offered a 787-10 with a maximum takeoff weight increase to allow the aircraft to perform longer missions, dubbed the “787-10ER”.

Although nothing has been said from either party, the above statement may just be a hint on what’s going on behind the scenes at Boeing. Could we see an announcement in the near future?

Air New Zealand orders Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Deliveries of the new aircraft will commence from 2022 and last five years. The next step will see Air New Zealand decide between the 777X and Airbus A350 to replace their 777-300ERs when the time comes.

For now, Air New Zealand has stuck with the model of Boeing widebodies and Airbus narrowbodies for their mainline fleet.