Air New Zealand to buy A320s

AIR New Zealand is to consolidate its short-range fleet around Airbus aircraft, rather than Boeing.The carrier’s general manager for short-haul operations, Bruce Parton, said the airline will buy 14 new A320s to replace its 15 737-300s. He denied the decision was anything to do with repeated delays in delivering the 787 Dreamliner, delays it has been very critical of.“There were a number of reasons,” Parton said of the decision to buy Airbus. “One of course is price. It was a competitive bidding system. In this case, Airbus has come out superior. It is certainly nothing to do with any delays in 787s.”Air New Zealand has eight 787-9s on order, due for delivery in the first quarter of 2013, but because of announced technical problems, now expected in the last quarter of 2013.The first A320 will be delivered in January 2011, while the rest spread out until 2016.Parton said that the aircraft had been bought at a “substantial” discount, but declined to admit how much.

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