Air New Zealand (Auckland) ended an era when the pictured Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV (msn 26910), flying the final 747 revenue flight, landed in Auckland on a flight from San Francisco. ANZ has ended its long association (nearly 35 years) with the Jumbo. The flag carrier originally operated the Boeing 747-200B before that early type was replaced with the newer Boeing 747-400s. Now the 747-400s have been fully replaced with newer Boeing 777-300 ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners.
Read the account from the Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE
Top Copyright Photo: David Apps/AirlinersGallery.com.
The last flight departed from San Francisco International Airport on September 10. This “Farewell 747” banner was displayed at the departure gate at SFO:
Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand.
Copyright Photo: Roy Lock/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBV was previously painted in this special color scheme to promote the first Lord of Rings movie featuring Frodo on the aircraft. ZK-NBV was delivered new to ANZ on Halloween (October 31), 1998.
In other news, Air New Zealand is adding more flights to its North American schedule. The popularity of the airline’s service between Auckland and Los Angeles will see the airline step up frequency next year from twice daily to three times a day on three days of the week.
To date Air New Zealand’s Los Angeles service has predominantly run twice-daily but during the 2015 Northern Summer season (April – October) there will be a third flight departing Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, representing a 20% boost in total capacity.
The additional Los Angeles services will depart Auckland earlier than the current daily services arriving in Los Angeles around 0900 and enabling same day connections with Midwest and East Coast USA destinations. The earlier departure time will also suit Australian travellers heading to the USA, with convenient Melbourne and Sydney connections.
The additional services will depart Los Angeles later than current services accommodating later connections while still arriving into Auckland at 0700 in time for passengers to connect seamlessly to domestic New Zealand and Australia.
Air New Zealand is also increasing capacity between Auckland and Vancouver by 10%. Next year it will operate five times per week from June to September (currently mid-July to late August). The airline operates three times per week outside of this period.
Both the Los Angeles and Vancouver routes will get an additional boost during the New Zealand school holidays. Air New Zealand will operate a third daily Los Angeles flight on Sundays in the July and October school holidays taking the weekly total to 18, and move from three to four flights per week to Vancouver during the October school holidays.
Today (September 12) ANZ begins Boeing 787-9 service on the Auckland – Perth route, one month earlier than planned.
Additionally, Air New Zealand is progressively refitting its Boeing 777-200 ER fleet bringing the on-board customer experience into line with the high level of inflight innovation and comfort already enjoyed on the airline’s Boeing 777-300 ER and new 787-9 aircraft.
Air New Zealand has eight 777-200 ERs which are progressively having their interiors completely stripped out and replaced as part of a $100 million fleet refurbishment project.
ZK-OKA is the first to be completed. The refurbished aircraft features Air New Zealand’s new luxury leather Premium Economy seat (above) which recently debuted on the airline’s 787-9 Dreamliner and nine rows of the award-winning Economy Skycouch product. The airline’s Business Premier lie-flat bed and Economy seat round out the inflight product offering. Also on board is a brand new Panasonic eX3 seatback inflight entertainment system with improved resolution and touch capabilities.
The remainder of the airline’s Boeing 777-200 ER fleet is being progressively refurbished with the final aircraft scheduled to roll out of the hangar late next year.
On the financial side, Air New Zealand recently announced normalized earnings before taxation of A$332 million for the 2014 financial year, an increase of 30 percent on the previous year. Statutory earnings before taxation were A$357 million, an increase of 40 percent, while statutory net profit after taxation was $262 million.
Chairman Tony Carter said that the result represented the third consecutive year of strong earnings growth for the airline.
“This is a result Air New Zealand can be proud of. Our employees, our customers and our shareholders can be confident that Air New Zealand continues to be a world leading airline both in terms of customer experience and financial performance,” Mr Carter said.
“We have made significant progress on our key strategic initiatives. With new aircraft offering better operating economics, an optimised network with the right alliance partners, disciplined cost management and a daily focus on improving the customer experience, we are very well positioned to continue growing.”
Mr Carter said that Air New Zealand will significantly grow its capacity in the coming year, as new aircraft arrive.
“Based on our current expectations of market demand and fuel prices, we expect to improve on the 2014 result in the coming year. This outlook excludes equity earnings from the Virgin Australia shareholding,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said the result was testament to the efforts of Air New Zealanders at all levels of the organisation.
“Our team is demonstrating their passion and commitment to ensuring that Air New Zealand is performing better than ever before. A successful Air New Zealand is good for everyone – it is a virtuous circle. As we grow our revenue and control costs, we generate strong financial results which lead to sustainable returns to shareholders and investment back in the business,” Mr Luxon said.
“We have a number of initiatives underway to further improve the customer experience, including induction of the Boeing 787-9 fleet, the refurbishment of our Boeing 777-200 ER fleet, moving to new terminals and lounges in Los Angeles and London and multiple lounge upgrades across the network.”
Mr Luxon also commented on the airline’s alliance with Singapore Airlines, which was recently granted full regulatory approval.
“This alliance is the third strategic revenue sharing alliance we have formed in recent years, following agreements with Virgin Australia (reauthorised in 2013) and Cathay Pacific in 2012. Forming alliances with the right partners in the right markets is a key pillar of our Go Beyond strategy.”
“Strong alliances such as this provide us with a platform for sustainable growth, allowing us to open up new routes and markets across the Pacific Rim,” he said.
Air New Zealand Aircraft Slide Show:
Video: ANZ salutes the “Queen of the Skies”:
Video from stuff.co.nz: Air New Zealand’s Boeing 747-400 ZK-NBV named “Christchurch” made it final flight and now is in retirement. The 747-400 completed 67,552 flight hours and 7284 landings.
Video: Before the Boeing 747-400 there was the Boeing 747-200B: