Air New Zealand, New Zealand’s National Carrier, announced that it would retire all 777-200/300 aircraft would be phased out by 2026.
In a meeting with investors over the weekend, they announced that their 777-200ER aircraft would be retired with immediate effect and would never fly for the airline again, after being put into long-term storage in 2020 following the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This news comes after ANZ reported an After-Tax loss of $289 Million NZD ($202 Million USD), reflecting a full year flying in the pandemic.
Air New Zealand also announced that the 777-300 would be phased out by 2027, and replaced by the 787 Dreamliner. Air New Zealand currently operates eight 777-200ER, seven 777-33ER & Fourteen 787 Dreamliner aircraft with 8 on order with delivery from 2024. By 2027 they will only operate the 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A320, A321, ATR72 & Bombardier Q300 Aircraft.
Air New Zealand has also indicated its interest in electric, hybrid and/or hydrogen aircraft for domestic use.
While this news may seem sudden, it was expected. After they reported a Before-Tax loss of 440 Million NZD, and that they had already put most of their long-haul aircraft into storage it was only a matter of time that they retired their ageing 777 fleet.