Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Air New Zealand today celebrated delivery of the airline's first Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) airplane, on lease from International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC).
The delivery ceremony was attended by Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe, ILFC Chairman and CEO Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President - Asia Pacific Sales Larry Dickenson. The ceremony took place at the Boeing Everett Facility.
"Air New Zealand and Boeing have a great working-together relationship that spans 38 years," said Dickenson. "As the first South Pacific 777 customer, Air New Zealand demonstrates a visionary perspective of the market with this important delivery. The capabilities, efficiency, economics and passenger comfort of the 777-200ER will clearly give Air New Zealand an advantage over other airlines. This delivery also reinforces our nearly 30-year partnership with ILFC as the largest lessor of Boeing airliners."
This airplane is the first of eight Boeing 777-200ERs, four of which are being leased through ILFC, which Air New Zealand will receive through 2006. The airline has selected Rolls Royce Trent 800 series engines for its 777 fleet.
"The new Boeing 777-200ER is one of the most advanced passenger aircraft ever made and will expand our capabilities for long-haul operations," said Fyfe. "It will also help us take the uniquely Kiwi experience we deliver our customers to another level."
The Boeing 777-200ER is the most popular member of the 777 family and is the market leader, offering unsurpassed twin-engine efficiency, range and comfort. The Air New Zealand 777-200ER carries 313 passengers in a three-class configuration -- 26 Business Premier, 18 Premium Economy and 269 Economy seats -- and flies up to 7,730 nautical miles (14,316 kilometers). The airplane is capable of serving such routes as Los Angeles-Auckland and Auckland-Tokyo.
"Air New Zealand is one of ILFC's longest and loyal airline customers, a close relationship that spans more than three decades," said Steven F. Udvar-Hazy, Chairman and CEO of ILFC. "The Boeing 777 carries excellent brand appeal and has an extensive international customer base. ILFC continues to experience sustained and robust leasing demand from our airline customers for Boeing 777s."
The Boeing 777 family of airplanes is the world's most advanced and continues to evolve with the recent addition of the world's longest-range airliner, the 777-200LR Worldliner, and the Boeing 777 Freighter. To date 42 airlines have placed orders for more than 700 777s, making it the most preferred airplane in its class.