© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2022

Discussion warranted on domestic fleet - expert

Connor Stirling

While the international fleet takes the spotlight, some of the smaller regional fleet remains a mystery.

Air New Zealand's recent business review has outlined plans to defer delivery of some new aircraft, but one aviation expert believes that shouldn't be the focus.

In the review, the airline outlines the push-back of some initiatives to improve financial performance, in particular some deliveries of new aircraft.

The airline's ageing Boeing 777-200 series fleet are 13.5 years old on average and were due to be replaced from 2023.

Two of the eight deliveries will be pushed back four to five years (2027-2028) - by which time the two aircraft not being replaced as soon could be 20-21 years old or as old as 25-26 years old.

But the international fleet isn't alone in the question of age.

Air New Zealand's regional Q300 aircraft are 12 years old on average, and not mentioned in the business review at all.

Independent aviation commentator Irene King believes 'this is where the action is.'

"I actually think that a lot of this discussion about long haul is not actually there. I think strategically, they should be putting a lot of their thinking [towards the Q300s] because it’s very expensive to run two fleets domestically in New Zealand," she says.

Air New Zealand has been approached for comment.