Air New Zealand Bids Farewell to the Boeing 767

Air New Zealand officially phased out the Boeing 767 aircraft Friday. (Photo: Lance C. Broad / YBBN Spotters Group / planespotters.net)

After over 30 years of service, Auckland-based Air New Zealand has officially retired all of it’s Boeing 767-300ER aircraft from service.

ZK-NCI operated the final flight of the ANZ 767 between Sydney and Auckland. (Photo: Victor Pody / planespotters.net)

The final flight for the sole remaining 767 in the airlines’ fleet, ZK-NCI, is scheduled to depart Sydney – Kingsford Smith for Auckland under the following schedule:

NZ108 Sydney 6:55 p.m. departure -> Auckland 11:59 p.m. arrival

Air New Zealand has gradually been retiring it’s B767 aircraft for the far more efficient Boeing 787-9 aircraft on long-haul routes to Australia, Asia, and North America. The 787-9 operates with substantially lower operating costs and improved fuel efficiency while carrying 72 more passengers.

Another primary reason for the retirement is to introduce a simplified fleet structure for the airline, which now operates 30 Airbus A320’s, 8 777-200ER’s, 7 Boeing 777-300ER’s, 9 Boeing 787-9’s, and 13 Airbus A320neo family aircraft due to enter service between 2017 and 2019.

“The Boeing 767 aircraft has been a stalwart at Air New Zealand for more than 30 years now but moving to operate the modern 787-9 Dreamliner’s on our long-haul routes will allow us to be more efficient and have a consistent wide-body fleet which will deliver benefits to both the business and customers.” Captain David Morgan, ANZ chief operations, integrity, and standards officer said in a statement on Friday.

The Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s will accommodate 302 passengers in a 3-cabin layout, featuring 18 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 263 economy seats. In a smaller 3-aircraft subfleet of the type, ANZ will equip the aircraft in a premium-heavy layout featuring 27 business, 33 premium economy, and 215 economy seats for a grand total of 275 seats, 27 less than the higher-density layout.

The 767 was the final old-age plane in Air New Zealand’s fleet. (Photo: John Rankin / planespotters.net)

ANZ first took delivery of the Boeing 767 in September 1985 when the Boeing 767-200 was the primary aircraft in the fleet. The example flying the final flight, ZK-NCI, was delivered to the airline in November 1994, spending almost 23 years in the New Zealand skies. The airline has mentioned in statements that this example in particular has flown New Zealand’s America Cup winners, Pope John Paul II, and the Rolling Stones, among others.