Why do we need something with 744 or 777 capacity? Range absolutely or am I misunderstanding you? NZ certainly I don't think at least need even 77W capacity, the 77W is an incredible aircraft where NZ probably only need it for LAX a lot like the 744, however SFO and also IAH which has obviously done very well for them to use a 77W. Some airlines bought the 77W for the range given the operating costs were a lot lower than the 77L where the capacity of the 77L would have been better, the 77L was described by Rob Fyfe as a flying fuel tank, pretty sure it was Fyfe. The sweet spot now has gotten a little smaller again to me, 789/78J/359 around 250/300 seats instead of 350/400 so P2P rather than the hub model with smaller frames. It remains to be seen how the 35K/779 will do but certainly not for NZ, I personally wonder how much they considered the 77X/35K given the 787 can do everything they want, possibly with some restrictions on the longest routes, EWR.
NZ as far back as 2002 if I recall were looking at one type with 300 seats for long haul, guess the 77E although some say NZ could have skipped that and gone to the 77W, I guess the 744s would have left and the 763s stay initially and we still end up with a 77W/789 fleet though so 2 types.
Re SGN sure, all I am saying is the 763 ran for the first season and then retired so leaving the 789 for 2 years. Pity it won't come back Vietnam is beautiful.
I don't want this to become something it's not.
Regarding my comment on the 744/777: Putting into perspective - NZ flew 744's to North America and then the 777's. We've been waiting (not literally) for a MTOW boost on the 787 which would see this type comparably operate on North America. Yes the -9 can compete on range but it lacks capacity. The -10 can reach LAX just but little else. I'm not suggesting we need a like for like replacement.
Connecting it to my original comment around wishing we'd gone A350. The -900 and -1000 which both clearly give NZ what it needs into North America and would give it with a single type and no issues to date.
Is it too big for developing Asian markets. Potentially.
But to challenge that point, has the airline ordered the best aircraft for developing markets vs the best aircraft for it's profitable ones and don't forget the A350 isn't the completely wrong aircraft for developing markets, it's just more level with the 787.
I can't believe we're still quoting Fyfe's comment on the flying fuel tank a decade on. NZ didn't need the 77L and at the time had it's eyes on North American and had ordered a much more fuel efficient aircraft which was only "years away" and capable of reaching NYC.
Re SGN: You've lost context of the point ZKOJQ raised. To recap in post 37 they said "I can't really see SGN, DPS, RAR-LAX etc having been operated with A350s.". In my reply on post 42 I said it was done at a time of incredible growth with an aircraft that owes you nothing. The whole point is the route only came about due to NZ having the equipment essentially sitting around unused during a period of intense growth. If the 763's had or if there was another plan we may never have seen SGN. The fact that it switched to a 789 is a mute point.