AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — Air New Zealand is celebrating the arrival of its latest aircraft – a new Airbus A321neo that made the 19,352 km journey to Auckland from Hamburg via Muscat, Kuala Lumpur, and Cairns.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says the new aircraft is a welcome sign that the airline is doing what it does best – keeping Kiwis connected by adding additional capacity.

"We're focused on growing our domestic network, and this A321neo is specially configured for domestic flying to add almost 50 additional seats per flight compared to our A320s."

The new aircraft is undergoing five days of pre-service readiness in the Auckland Hangars before it commences its first flight on 8 November from Auckland to Wellington.

The new aircraft is the first of two new A321neos to join the ANZ's domestic fleet this year. The second will arrive later this year, painted with Air New Zealand's world-first black Star Alliance livery. Three more A321neos are expected to arrive next year, with the final two scheduled for 2026.

The A321neos will predominately fly between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, and Dunedin.

The A321neo was first introduced to Air New Zealand's fleet in 2018 and is used for international flying to places like Australia and the islands – although it occasionally pops up on the domestic network. These planes are equipped with WiFi and seatback screens for entertainment.

However, the new A321s will be exclusively used for domestic and won't have extra features like WiFi or seatback screens.