Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Air New Zealand (ANZ) to re-introduce Boeing 747-400 operations on the London-Los Angeles-Auckland service from 2 June, the world”s longest air route.
The 747-400s were re-assigned to the new London-Auckland operation via Hong Kong when it was introduced last November and replaced by Boeing 777s, but these have proved not large enough. According to ANZ general manager airline operations and planning, Glen Sowry, the upgrade has been achieved by better utilisation of the aircraft fleet. (ANZ has eight 747s and eight 777-200ERs).
”We were able to re-deploy some aircraft and make more efficient use of the big Boeings,” he said.
Sowry said that the new route has been a great success particularly at the front end where the airline has the Virgin/Contour seats, with what he called ”minor improvements.” The airline is pleased with the take up of its premium economy product which is now being rolled out with full business class catering and a 40” seat pitch. More capacity is being added at the expense of economy class seats.
”We were concerned that by offering a quality economy plus product we would lose out with business class,” said Sowry. ”This has not been the case as the front end tends to sell out first, passengers taking that option wanting the full flat bed. We have also been doing very well on the London to LAX and Hong Kong-only routes.”
Sowry also confirmed that from the start of the winter season the airline would go double-daily twice a week on the Hong Kong-Auckland service.
The airline plans to introduce one new long-haul route annually, confirmed with the recent announcement concerning Vancouver (click here to read the story in full).
Currently ANZ only flies to the UK in Europe, but other continental destinations are being considered. It is also the lead airline for the ultra long-range Dash 9 version of the Boeing 787, with the first aircraft due for delivery in 2010, powered by Rolls-Royce. No route announcements have been made but the aircraft would be ideal for non-stop services to India, China and South America.