29 January 2011

All Black Airbus on the Way

Air New Zealand's all-black A320 plane for domestic routes is about to set off on its three-day delivery flight to New Zealand, island-hopping across the Pacific to arrive in Auckland early next week. In a route similar to earlier days when international aircraft did not have long-range fuel tanks, it is stopping over in Gander, Canada, then Denver, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Samoa on its way to Auckland. At Los Angeles, on Sunday morning (local time), it will be showcased to aviation enthusiasts at LAX airport, while the flight crew sleep. The aircraft - painted black with a silver fern to mark the airline's sponsorship of the All Blacks - was recently flown from the Airbus manufacturing facility in Toulouse, France, to Hamburg, Germany, for a fit-out of the cabin interior. The ZK-OAB registration is the only Air NZ A320 to be painted black. Air New Zealand has 14 of the 171-seat aircraft on order, and this first one will be brought onto domestic routes from early February. Another three will be delivered this year and the remaining 10 progressively through until 2016, coinciding with the expiry of leases for Boeing 737-300. The airline has said that the larger aircraft will let it boost domestic jet capacity by nearly 30 percent. The current 737 fleet is configured with 133 seats.

1 comment:

  1. ZK-OAB, as NZ6695, was off blocks from Toulouse at 0810UTC and airborne at 0827UTC with an ETA Gander of 1408UTC. Upshot is, it left Saturday night NZ time. After Gander the A320 will continue to Denver for crew rest, then on Sunday/Monday NZ time it will transit Los Angeles and overnight at Honolulu before arriving at Auckland 1530 on Tuesday afternoon via Apia.