TG992
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Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:10 pm

NZ's plan to send 2 744's on wet lease have fallen through, not sure what this means now for the 744's but this will not be happening now.

Also expect something soon on the long term plan and replacement of the 744's.
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jafa39
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:24 pm

Quoting TG992 (Thread starter):
replacement of the 744's.

Nooo, stop them please!!! I need that extra 2" of leg room on long-haul.

I'll miss them sorely Sad
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
planemanofnz
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:26 pm

So what is the plan now? Maybe they will venture into South America which is currently ETOPS restricted? EZE? GIG? GRU? Hopefully the replacement of the 744's will include a mix of 747-8's and 77W's.
 
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:01 pm

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 1):

Since I'm short I enjoyed being able to fully stretch out on the B744 a few months back.

I'm thinking of an order for the B773s
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United Airline
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:02 pm

I suppose they will order the B 747-8 to replace the B 747-400 as Ralph Norris mentioned. Maybe some B 777-300ERs too.
 
N751PR
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:04 pm

So it's not going to PR nor AI... Where in the bloody hell is it going now?
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
 
airnewzealand
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:06 pm

Ralph NOrris is gone mate,

the future outlook of the airline is completely different now! Visions change im afraid!
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:07 pm

Quoting United Airline (Reply 4):
I suppose they will order the B 747-8 to replace the B 747-400 as Ralph Norris mentioned. Maybe some B 777-300ERs too.

At this stage (we all know Air NZ can change their mind) we will be be getting 748's. My guess is it will be 773's and more 787's. Something will be out soon as we have to be quick to get something around the 2013 mark as you can see by this article here

Quoting N751PR (Reply 5):
So it's not going to PR nor AI... Where in the bloody hell is it going now?

I guess we will either look at a new option. We could put it back on as NZ1 and NZ2 but using the 777 saves a lot of money.
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Lufthansa
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:18 pm

Okay they've got 2 744s right? We'll I have an idea, and I'm almost certain it will work.

Okay here goes. Base them at MEL.
Then start flying MEL-JNB non-stop.
Why JNB? There is a significant exodus of white south africans now living in Australia and new zealand, creating a huge demand for flights between the region and Australia. Currently, QF have the market stitched up, and their daily SYD-JNB flight is always full, and always at very high prices. Many pax are thus forced to fly all the way to Singapore Kuala Lumpur and now EVEN DUBAI in order to get resonable prices or even just a seat. These flights could be operated on a triangle basis too, with Air NZ being able to sell the domestic leg (as it has the right to fly domestically inside australia... might be some staffing issues(maybe need an AU based crew and possibly even operating certificate) but should be too hard for them to activate their longtime right to fly inside Australia. Say in conjunction with brisbane and sydney on alternate days. They should be timed to connect with inbound pax from NZ and there should then be signifcant feed inside Australia, and significant feed in NZ.

Also, air new zealand needs to get its act together and use some of its Australian traffic beyond rights... SQ would Kill for these rights but NZ just doesn't seem to be able to compete aggressively enough. After all, QF isn't exactly gonna drop its LAX-AKL flight anytime soon are they?

[Edited 2006-11-29 09:22:34]
 
cchan
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:39 pm

Maybe trade-in or sell those 744 for some cash to buy new 777-300ERs?
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:51 pm

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 8):
Then start flying MEL-JNB non-stop.

I would like SA as a destination, but Rob has been very clear in the one new destination per year. They have HKG LHR and AKL PVG this year so I think this will not happen. The lease was for a short term so they may having something in the pipeline for the next couple of years.
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ZKOJH
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:00 pm

I flew on NZ 1 the other week, and 32inc on the T7 really sucks! 26 hrs is a long time to go if your tall, tho look out for some more t7's being ordered soon, think the 748i is out nz like 2 better then 4
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Lufthansa
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:21 pm

Quoting TG992 (Reply 10):
I would like SA as a destination, but Rob has been very clear in the one new destination per year. They have HKG LHR and AKL PVG this year so I think this will not happen. The lease was for a short term so they may having something in the pipeline for the next couple of years.

He's either doing that to try and keep team members calm and/or keep expectations under control, or a very close minded twit who then shouldn't be in charge of any significantly large organisation. IF THE OPPORTUNITY IS THERE, and nobody in the market is yet meeting it, then a smart company moves in the close that gap before somebody else gets a chance. Seriously, if this is his attitude, then I think its time for change. Especially since they're aren't exactly that many expansion possibilities for dear old NZ. I'd be taking what i can while i still can if i were them, especially if the aircraft are there anyway.
 
kiwiflyer791
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:26 pm

Word on the street is expect an order for up to 12 767-300ERS, they are looking at trying to get some early delivery slots so are busy sorting those sorts of issues out.
They also want to firm up another 6 787-9s.
However they also say these decisions are very volatile and subject to change so really everyone has to just wait and see.
 
v2fix
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:25 pm

The new routes for this year were announced some time ago -

Shanghai on the 14th October 2005
London via Hong Kong on the 5th April 2006

The operational logistics for a new route means planning starts well in advance of any public annoucement (and Shanghai was rumoured on A.Net as a destination many months before the formal release)

So far, such rumours have not surfaced - which suggests that next years new route is not a new route - but probably an extension of an existing service.

The new London service was announced a mere 7 months before its started. So if Air NZ is going to do a new route next year I believe that it will simply be an extension of an current route.

Personally, given what has been stated publicly, I would expect to see the spare 744s supplement an extension, say 3 times a week (which seem to be normal practise), of an existing route to a new destination.

My personal bet is :

AKL-PNG-Europe (with the cheapest and possibly least risky option) being LHR, otherwise Frankfurt .

But I dont know of the freedom rights that Air NZ hold to fly from Germany. They hold rights for Germany to US - used in the old FRA-LAX service.
742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:51 pm

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 12):
He's either doing that to try and keep team members calm and/or keep expectations under control, or a very close minded twit who then shouldn't be in charge of any significantly large organisation. IF THE OPPORTUNITY IS THERE, and nobody in the market is yet meeting it, then a smart company moves in the close that gap before somebody else gets a chance. Seriously, if this is his attitude, then I think its time for change. Especially since they're aren't exactly that many expansion possibilities for dear old NZ. I'd be taking what i can while i still can if i were them, especially if the aircraft are there anyway.

Anyone who tried growing a small airline that fast would be mad!
Let's say PVG and HKGLON were not working as well as expected, the last thing you need to extra new routes doing the same thing. Imagine in one year starting
AKL-PVG
HKG-LON
AKL-GRU
AKL-BJS
AKL-BOM

All didn't do as well as expected... what would be the outcome (I know this is over the top but you can see the point i'm trying to make).

Quoting Kiwiflyer791 (Reply 13):
Word on the street is expect an order for up to 12 767-300ERS

???? 767-300ER?????
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kiwiflyer791
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:54 pm

S

Quoting TG992 (Reply 15):
???? 767-300ER?????

Sorry mean 777-300ERs
 
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BNE
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:05 pm

What about flying SYD-LAX with a 747, maybe United won't like it that much.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
v2fix
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:22 pm

Quoting BNE (Reply 17):
What about flying SYD-LAX with a 747, maybe United won't like it that much.

That could be possible and would utilise the 2 spare 747 on a daily service (which I think you would have to offer for this sector). Maybe with some clever sheduling AKL-SYD-LAX return or onto AKL-MEL and then the reverse would be possible.

UA probably would not like it and may be prompted to return to LAX-AKL sector. It was rumoured that the reson that left was deal done with Air NZ for them to leave SYD-LAX to them.
742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:23 pm

Quoting V2fix (Reply 14):
The new London service was announced a mere 7 months before its started. So if Air NZ is going to do a new route next year I believe that it will simply be an extension of an current route.

There is rumour of something "new" next october.. watch this space come Apr perhaps?

Quoting V2fix (Reply 14):
AKL-PNG-Europe (with the cheapest and possibly least risky option) being LHR, otherwise Frankfurt .

But I dont know of the freedom rights that Air NZ hold to fly from Germany. They hold rights for Germany to US - used in the old FRA-LAX service.

Rob has said they have options on PVG to Eruope. This will become daily, maybe NZ1/2 might go back to 744 on some days?
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:53 pm

Quoting TG992 (Reply 7):
At this stage (we all know Air NZ can change their mind) we will be be getting 748's.

I was told by a very senior Air New Zealand [training captain/ fleet type captain/ pilot selection captain] less than a month ago that the 748's have been rulled out at this stage and they are very close to ordering the B777-300ER.
 
sunrisevalley
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:19 am

Quoting NZ747 (Reply 20):
that the 748's have been rulled out at this stage and they are very close to ordering the B777-300ER.

That does not surprise me. Geoffrey Thomas, on another site, said that a number of airline CEO's that he had spoken with were looking to the -300ER to maintain pretty much the premium seat count of the -400ER and with the reduced Y class seat count , improve the Y class yield . I can see NZ in that category.
 
kiwiflyer791
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:28 am

Quoting BNE (Reply 17):
What about flying SYD-LAX with a 747, maybe United won't like it that much.

Forget it, the Air NZ 747s can not do this without a significant payload reduction making it uneconmic. They added a hell of alot of wieght with the upgrade something like 4.5 tons.
 
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NZ107
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:34 am

Quoting TG992 (Reply 19):
Rob has said they have options on PVG to Eruope. This will become daily, maybe NZ1/2 might go back to 744 on some days?

I really hope so! What a shame if they don't get the 748.. But the 77W is a beautiful aircraft.

Quoting ZKOJH (Reply 11):
I flew on NZ 1 the other week, and 32inc on the T7 really sucks! 26 hrs is a long time to go if your tall, tho look out for some more t7's being ordered soon, think the 748i is out nz like 2 better then 4

Scare tactics to get you into Y+  Silly
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TG992
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:50 am

Quoting BNE (Reply 17):
What about flying SYD-LAX with a 747, maybe United won't like it that much.

As Kiwiflyer791 said no can do anymore. PVT's etc make the weight to much for this sector.

Quoting NZ747 (Reply 20):
I was told by a very senior Air New Zealand [training captain/ fleet type captain/ pilot selection captain] less than a month ago that the 748's have been rulled out at this stage and they are very close to ordering the B777-300ER.

This is true, they are doing something soon because orders are so strong with boeing. They maybe ordered soon but don't expect to see them before 2013.
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sunrisevalley
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:53 am

Quoting TG992 (Reply 24):
They maybe ordered soon but don't expect to see them before 2013.

But they have -400ER leases running out around 2010. Don't you think the type will be on the scene earlier than 2013?
 
koruman
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:37 am

I think the airline would now swap 777-300ERs for 747s tomorrow if it could get hold of them, in spite of spending millions of dollars upgrading the 747s.

The 747s can quite easily be palmed off onto Virgin Atlantic, for whom fuel is less of an issue on routes like UK-USA.

Noone on earth is buying the 747-8, it is an absolute dog, and Air New Zealand is not silly enough to buy it.

I suspect that the fleet will be of 777-200 and 300 aircraft by 2012, retaining the 46 Business Premier and 31 Premium Economy configuration of the 747s, but with only around 175 Economy seats on the 777-200ER (for a total of 252 seats) and around 200 Economy seats on the 300ER (for a total of 277 seats).

This configuration allows high yield flights to the USA and UK, and reduces weight to the point that direct flights from Sydney (277 seats), Melbourne (277 seats) and Perth via Brisbane (252 seats) to Los Angeles and San Francisco can be operated easily.

A 777-200ER with 46J / 31 U / 175 Y (total 252 seats) is going to earn a hell of a lot more revenue than the current configuration of 26J / 18 U / 269 Y (313 seats, including dozens more economy seats than can be sold on these routes without massive discounting), and without any need to create domestic Australian flights or an alliance with Virgin Blue to find feed to fill up the extra 96 Economy seats per flight which my model sheds.

We KNOW that LAX-LHR can sell 46J / 31 U each day, but the move to a 777 has reduced supply to only 26J / 18 U per day, which is losing even more revenue than the savings the lighter weight and more efficient engines provide.

ANA has already done this on its flights on high yield routes, hasn't it, massively reducing low-yield economy seats in favour of high-yield premium classes.

[Edited 2006-11-30 02:41:55]
 
United Airline
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:20 am

They can always change their mind...... I expect the B 747-400s to stay for sometime. No confirmed news yet so I will wait and see
 
koruman
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:42 pm

I'd just like to add that while Air NZ is only adding one or two new destinations per year (eg Shanghai), that doesn't mean that there is any great risk entailed in opening new routes to existing destinations.

The only problem with Sydney to Los Angeles was that the airline had far too many economy seats which it couldn't sell. Yes, a 787-8 or 787-9 is ideal to allow the route to be operated daily (the minimum frequency to attract premium class traffic), but a lightened-up 777 with 20 rows of economy seats removed to fit in an extra 6 rows of Business Premier seating and 2 rows of premium economy would be ideal.

As I keep saying, there should be 46J/31U on LHR-LAX, and there should be premium heavy 777s flying from Australia to the USA.

I would just
1) make NZ1/2 a 747 again,
2)downgrade NZ5/6 to a 777
3) make NZ 7/8 a daily 747
4) close Kansai and Narita,
5) open up SYD-LAX and MEL-LAX
6) open up PER-BNE-LAX, which I think would do very well in view of WA's mining boom. PER-SYD on Qantas usually has a heaving Business Class cabin full of people flying on to LAX, and PER-LHR is often used even by businessmen going to California or Texas, which is nuts.
 
planemanofnz
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:49 pm

Quoting Koruman (Reply 28):
close Kansai and Narita

No way. NZ need to keep one route to Japan at least and downgrade it to maybe 4 weekly. At the moment I think KIX is sort of sabotaging NRT or the other way around. Japan needs to be kept or else NZ face some more competition on the LHR route if JL decide to come to NZ to fill the gap.
 
koruman
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:45 pm

Singapore and Papeete-LAX have a lot more reason to be operated than AKL-NRT or AKL-KIX!
 
cchan
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:08 pm

Quoting Koruman (Reply 30):
Singapore and Papeete-LAX have a lot more reason to be operated than AKL-NRT or AKL-KIX!

The NZ tourism will be hit hard if Japan routes are dropped altogether, so it is rather unlikely that NZ will drop both KIX and NRT.
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:29 pm

Quoting Cchan (Reply 31):
The NZ tourism will be hit hard if Japan routes are dropped altogether, so it is rather unlikely that NZ will drop both KIX and NRT.

Tourists from Japan are down. 15 years ago NZ made "all" it's money from Japan now it's in serious trouble.

Quoting Planemanofnz (Reply 29):
NZ face some more competition on the LHR route if JL decide to come to NZ to fill the gap.

NZ airshares with JL now.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 28):
I would just
1) make NZ1/2 a 747 again,
2)downgrade NZ5/6 to a 777
3) make NZ 7/8 a daily 747
4) close Kansai and Narita,
5) open up SYD-LAX and MEL-LAX
6) open up PER-BNE-LAX, which I think would do very well in view of WA's mining boom. PER-SYD on Qantas usually has a heaving Business Class cabin full of people flying on to LAX, and PER-LHR is often used even by businessmen going to California or Texas, which is nuts.

Hmm why have NZ5/6 MELAKLLAX and VV as well as MEL LAX. infact all these ex Australia to this US flights would take even more traffic off the tasman.

If anything to give more seats to LON from the US I would like NZ5/6 to carry on to wither LON or MAN. Maybe even make this NZ7/8!!!
-
 
United Airline
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:32 pm

I don't think they should drop Japan since there are many Japanese visiting NZ every year. Queenstown, Christchurch etc etc......
 
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:35 pm

Quoting TG992 (Reply 24):
This is true, they are doing something soon because orders are so strong with boeing. They maybe ordered soon but don't expect to see them before 2013.

From what I've heard possible orders are 2 x 787-9 and 4 x 773ER or 6 x 773ER. An order can be expected early december
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ZKSUJ
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:55 pm

Quoting TG992 (Reply 7):
At this stage (we all know Air NZ can change their mind) we will be be getting 748's.

Great

Quoting NZ747 (Reply 20):
I was told by a very senior Air New Zealand [training captain/ fleet type captain/ pilot selection captain] less than a month ago that the 748's have been rulled out at this stage and they are very close to ordering the B777-300ER

He didn't say rulled out. He sayed "The 744s will be replaced by 773ERs and as for teh 748s, We won't know and we have to wait and see"
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:01 am

Quoting United Airline (Reply 33):
I don't think they should drop Japan since there are many Japanese visiting NZ every year. Queenstown, Christchurch etc etc......

Numbers are dropping however, it will not all go but flights will be reduced at some point i think.

Quoting ZKSUJ (Reply 35):
Quoting TG992 (Reply 7):
At this stage (we all know Air NZ can change their mind) we will be be getting 748's.

Great

This should have read

At this stage (we all know Air NZ can change their mind) we will be be getting 748's Not be be getting 748's.
-
 
6thfreedom
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:31 am

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 8):
Okay they've got 2 744s right? We'll I have an idea, and I'm almost certain it will work.

Okay here goes. Base them at MEL.
Then start flying MEL-JNB non-stop.



Quoting TG992 (Reply 19):
There is rumour of something "new" next october.. watch this space come Apr perhaps?

The Australia-South Africa market is going through a boom... a bit like Australia-South America.

NZ will launch AKL-MEL-JNB, and they will do quite nicely out of it, as the market currently backtracks to SYD, or requires a transit in PER.

Agree with TG992... announcement mid year, with launch for nothern winter.. peak travel time for this market.

NZ will also scrap NZ5/6 extension to MEL, and will prob replace it with B772 coming through as NZ7/8 from SFO.

Much better aircraft to use on AKL-MEL, and also a better destination in SFO.
 
2wingtips
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:09 am

Quoting Koruman (Reply 26):
Noone on earth is buying the 747-8, it is an absolute dog, and Air New Zealand is not silly enough to buy it.

Interesting comment. I wonder if you will be saying the same thing this time next year?
I completely disagree, but that would be getting completely off-topic for this thread.
 
nzrich
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:18 pm

Quoting 2wingtips (Reply 38):
Noone on earth is buying the 747-8, it is an absolute dog, and Air New Zealand is not silly enough to buy it.
Interesting comment. I wonder if you will be saying the same thing this time next year?
I completely disagree, but that would be getting completely off-topic for this thread.

Well untill A passenger airline buys the Aircraft it is a Dog as a passenger aircraft . At the moment only freighters have been sold .. As soon as it start selling in good numbers it wont be a dog or is that a lemon hmmmm ..

Looks to me like the 748 is like Airbus's first attempt at the A350 at the moment anyway exc the A350 actually had customers wanting to buy it as a passenger aircraft ..
"Pride of the pacific"
 
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NZ107
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:52 pm

Quoting 777ER (Reply 34):
An order can be expected early december

Plenty of 777 and 787 unidentified orders and no 747 unidentified orders. Looks grim for those like me wanting the 748..

Quoting 6thfreedom (Reply 37):
NZ will also scrap NZ5/6 extension to MEL

Would you extend it to anywhere? If I were NZ, I'd send it to SYD. They currently have no aircraft with the new cabin, and unless the release in March is good, I would like to see on of these giants heading there. I'd keep the MEL extension for the Dec/Jan and maybe early Feb for the Australian Open and the F1. AKL-MEL went from 3 A320s to 1 744 and 1 A320. Switching a 763 of SYD with the 744 would be my move.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
cchan
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:55 pm

Quoting Nzrich (Reply 39):
Well untill A passenger airline buys the Aircraft it is a Dog as a passenger aircraft . At the moment only freighters have been sold .. As soon as it start selling in good numbers it wont be a dog or is that a lemon hmmmm ..

Even if there are a few airlines buying passenger 748s, it is not a wise move to buy them. Just think about how hard it is when it comes to the time to get rid of them.

Also, the earlier NZ gets rid of their 744s the better it is for them. When it is time for major carriers to sell their old 744s (a large number of 744s were produced in the 90's), it will be hard to find buyers for these birds. The other option is to use them until they are no longer usable (just like JL and NH does with some of their aircrafts) and send them to the dump. However, it isn't a good idea to fly very old aircraft long haul. In contrast, keeping a few 763s for short haul operations with higher capacity and use them until they die won't be a bad idea. The AKL-RAR route sees 2 A320s on some days, and this could be replaced by one 763 and freeing up the 2 A320s for somewhere else. Just a thought.
 
koruman
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RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:37 pm

Exactly.

In spite of the huge investment on new interiors for the 747s, the best long term option is to replace them with 777-300ERs as soon as possible.

Don't forget that the 777 and 787 options include nominal delivery dates, and I understand that 777-300ERs can be delivered as soon as 2008.
 
sunrisevalley
Posts: 4981
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:26 am

RE: Air NZ 744's Not Going To AI

Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:57 am

Quoting Cchan (Reply 41):
Also, the earlier NZ gets rid of their 744s the better it is for them.

Three of the four that they own are 1990 and 1991 built units. The oldest two leased units were built in 1994 and 1995 and it was one of these that they renewed the lease on , last year, I believe.
Maybe VS could use two or three of the older ones RR powered ones.
In their last financial report they state that they are carrying them on the books at market value. If this is so they should not face having to take one time write-offs.