The last ever Boeing 767 flight for Air New Zealand will take place tonight, after more than three decades of the aircraft flying the majority of Air New Zealand’s long-haul flights. Both of the remaining 767 aircraft are being retired this week.
The final flight, NZ108, departs Sydney at 6:55pm local time, and will arrive in Auckland just before midnight NZ time.
The Boeing 767-300ER was first introduced to Air New Zealand in 1985, and served as the usual aricraft for long haul trips with the airline. The phasing out of the 767 has been due to the replacement of the more fuel efficient Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This started in 2014, with two more Dreamliners to arrive in Auckland later this year. 13 total are on order, arriving as late as the end of 2018.
Perhaps the most famous flight of the 767 was when Pope John Paul II flew between Christchurch and Canberra on a chartered flight in 1986. The winning Team New Zealand in the 1995 America’s cup also flew home on the 767 aircraft.
Captain David Morgan of Air New Zealand says the 767 aircraft retirement means a success for the long term plan of Air New Zealand to create a more simplified fleet of aircraft.
“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 Dreamliners 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,” says Morgan.
“The use of the larger Dreamliners will result in a capacity increase of around three percent on the trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes. Customers also get to experience our Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins on the 787-9 aircraft.”
The remaining Boeing 767 aircraft have been sold, and will be repurposed as freighter aircraft.