23 Dec 2009

New plane delays hit Air NZ

7:09 am on 23 December 2009

Air New Zealand says the delay of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner plane is affecting it more than the global economic downturn.

The airline hopes the lighter, more fuel efficient Dreamliner will allow it to open new routes, but it won't receive the first of its eight planes until at least late 2013, three years later than expected.

In ['[Airlines International magazine, chief executive Rob Fyfe says the delay has forced Air New Zealand to change its strategy much more than the economic downturn.

Mr Fyfe says the uncertainty about when the planes will be delivered means it cannot commit to new routes and its costs will be higher because it will still be maintaining older aircraft.

He says it also means Air New Zealand has had to review all its lease agreements.