Air New Zealand has announced that it’s returned its final 777-300ER from storage following a lengthy period away.
A grounding that was spurred on due to the pandemic and the restrictions imposed on New Zealand that prevented them from operating international services.
As New Zealand was subsequently not just one of the countries with the harshest restrictions globally but also one of the last to remove them, the national carrier was severely impacted. As such, they are only now on course to reactivate their final 777-300ER left in storage to meet the additional demand required.
Per Cirium data, the airline has six active 777-300ERs, and one is still in limbo awaiting its formal reactivation, which is due in the coming days.
While the airline has returned the 777-300ER to service, this type will eventually depart. This comes as Air New Zealand gradually moves towards operating only the Boeing 787 series for its long-haul fleet by the end of the decade.
Air New Zealand’s average 777-300ER age is over the ten-year mark, and it is now the only member of the 777 families they fly. Previously, they also operated the 777-200; however, they retired before the pandemic.