Air New Zealand grounds Boeing 777 fleet until September 2021


Air New Zealand has grounded its Boeing 777 fleet until at least September 2021 due to the ongoing impact of the global COVID19 pandemic.

In May, the airline grounded the majority of its seven 777-300 aircraft until the end of the 2020 calendar year. At the same time the company signalled it was unlikely to fly its eight 777-200 aircraft in the foreseeable future and began preparing to send these into long term storage overseas.

Four of Air New Zealand's 777-300 aircraft will be stored in Victorville in the Californian desert, while the remaining three will stay in Auckland where they are able to be returned to service if required.

The airline's 777-200 aircraft will be sent to long-term storage facilities in both Roswell, New Mexico and Victorville, California later this month.

The North American locations were chosen for their arid conditions and existing storage facilities which will ensure aircraft are kept in a condition that will enable them to be returned to service within six to eight weeks if required.

Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Carrie Hurihanganui has said that the recovery of the airline's international network is now looking to be slower than initially thought.

"The recent resurgence of cases in New Zealand is a reminder that this is a highly volatile situation. We are not anticipating a return to any 777 flying until September 2021 at the earliest, which is why we have made the decision to ground the fleet until at least this time next year," Carrie said.

The 777s are the largest aircraft in Air New Zealand's fleet and have operated the majority of the airline's long haul routes over the past 15 years.

The airline's international schedule will be operated by the more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, along with A320s and A320/21neos for trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes.

© Asia Travel Tips

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It will be years before air travel even comes close to what it was in 2019

Until a vaccine is created, air travel will be very limited as countries restrict incoming people.

When countries start to reopen limited flights, they will have to stop if the virus starts to spread again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An article all about the 777s and they show us a photo of a 787.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Things will return to normal, in a few years. The time will come when we look back and wonder, what was all the complaining about?

Things returned to normal after the 1918-1920 flu, and medicine was much more primitive a hundred years ago. The trick is to try to minimize the suffering; physical, mental, and economic.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

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