Rolls-Royce has been dealt a serious blow with the announcement by Air New Zealand on May 27 that it has selected the General Electric GEnx-1B to power its 8 Boeing 787-10s.
Ahead of the deal announced on the airline’s investors day it had already been anticipated that Boeing would come out as the winner in the battle for an order to replace the aging 777-200 fleet.
Air New Zealand already operates 13 787-9s (number 14 is arriving soon) and now adds 8 of the largest -10 to the fleet, with options on 20 more. These include the right to switch them to -9s. First deliveries are in 2022.
“This is a hugely important decision for our airline. With the 787-10 offering almost 15 percent more space for customers and cargo than the 787-9, this investment creates the platform for our future strategic direction and opens up new opportunities to grow,” says CEO Christophur Luxon. The order is valued at $2.7bln in list prices.
ANZ has been a faithful customer of Rolls-Royce, flying Trents on both the 777s to be replaced as well as on the 787-9s. But the Trent 1000 compressor blade issues have had a huge and costly impact on the airline’s operations. ANZ crew themselves experienced in-flight engine emergencies related to the Trent on more than one occasion. Grounding 787s and hiring other aircraft was costly and forced the airline to adapt its flight schedule more than once.
Although it was compensated for this by Rolls-Royce, the choice for GEnx power suggests that Air New Zealand has wanted to have a different risk strategy as well as signal the Derby-based engine maker about its dissatisfaction.
Boeing is most happy with this selection, which makes Air New Zealand the ninth customer for the 787-10. “We are honored that Air New Zealand has chosen to grow its future with the 787-10, the most efficient widebody airplane flying the skies today,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.