PARIS, May 20 (Reuters) - Boeing Co has won a hard-fought contest to sell wide-body aircraft to Air New Zealand Ltd, beating a challenge from Europe’s Airbus, industry sources said on Monday.
The carrier, which currently operates only Boeing wide-body jets on long-haul routes and Airbus single-aisle jets on shorter ones, has been weighing a purchase of new wide-body jets to replace eight Boeing 777-200ER aircraft.
Air New Zealand, Boeing and Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The airline has said it is examining the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 777X or 787 models, with the aim of launching longer routes like Auckland-New York and Auckland-Brazil.
Air New Zealand Finance Director Jeff McDowall said in an analyst briefing in March that a decision on the aircraft purchase should be made in the next few months, but that the airline would need fewer replacement jets than originally anticipated in 2023 due to network changes.
The airline launched a two-year cost reduction programme in March and deferred aircraft capital expenditures of about NZ$750 million ($490.1 million) as part of a business review.
In February, it slashed domestic fares by as much as 50 percent in a shake-up of its pricing structure in response to the slackening travel market.
$1 = 1.5302 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Tim Hepher in PARIS; additional reporting by Praveen Menon in WELLINGTON; Editing by Stephen Coates
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