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Air New Zealand restores Boeing 787 on Auckland-Perth

Nearly 12 months after adding a leased Spanish aircraft and crew to its Auckland-Perth route for the ‘busy summer period’, Air New Zealand is finally waving farewell to Wamos Air – reintroducing its Boeing 787 from October 29.

The leasing arrangement was inked to build resilience into the network, freeing up the Boeing 787 to act as a buffer for unforeseen circumstances, Air New Zealand General Manager Short Haul, Jeremy O’Brien, told Executive Traveller at the time.

While no doubt a sign of confidence in its ability to manage interruptions, the return of the 787 does result in somewhat of a downgrade for business class travellers, swapping Wamos’ conventional 1-2-1 layout on the A330 for those awkwardly-angled pews.

Business Premier onboard Air New Zealand's Boeing 787.

Business Premier onboard Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787.

Premium economy will be a welcome feature onboard, however. As will inflight WiFi access, meaning travellers can once again stay connected above the clouds.

A radical reboot of Air NZ’s much-maligned Business Premier seats will take wing in September 2024 on flights from Auckland to New York and Chicago, when the Kiwi carrier collects keys to the first of eight factory-fresh Boeing 787s – with new suites and seats from tip to tail.

Taking pride of place on the ultra-long range flights will be eight private Business Premier Luxe suites – four in the first row of each business class cabin – with a ‘buddy seat’ where a companion can sit and share a meal, a glass of wine or a game of cards, and dressed by upmarket touches including a Merino wool throw.

The all-new Business Premier will be a significant improvement on the 'commuter style' of present.

The all-new Business Premier will be a significant improvement on the ‘commuter style’ of present.

These will be accompanied by 42 new-look Business Premier seats with their own sliding privacy panels, a storage cabinet and vanity mirror, a spacious side shelf, wireless device charging and a massive 24” video screen with Bluetooth audio streaming to your own cordless headphones or earbuds.

In addition, Air New Zealand is adding two new Airbus A321 aircraft to its fleet from late 2024, while noting an eighth Boeing 777-300 is also on the way, with further details to be revealed soon.


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