Following an intensive evaluation process, Air New Zealand has ordered 14 Airbus A320s to replace its existing domestic fleet of 15 leased Boeing 737-300s.
The aircraft will be powered by IAE V.2500-family engines, like the 12 A320s the airline already operates.
Airbus says the A320, which is larger than the aircraft type it will replace, will enable Air New Zealand to increase capacity on routes that are starting to face capacity constraints at some airports during peak times. Air New Zealand has also taken purchase options on a further 11 A320-family aircraft, the deal including the possibility of selecting the larger A321.
“Our 12 Airbus A320s already deployed on short-haul international routes are performing well, and moving to one single-aisle aircraft type for both domestic and short haul international routes will immediately deliver added efficiencies in maintenance, crew training, and overall fleet simplification,” says Bruce Parton, Air New Zealand’s general manager, short haul airline.
The A320 has the widest fuselage of any single-aisle aircraft, a factor in improving passenger comfort. Airbus says its new cabin design for the A320 family offers a significant increase in overhead stowage, dramatic ambience lighting options and noticeable noise reduction.