AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — Air New Zealand is reportedly in advanced negotiations to lease an additional B777-300(ER), indicating a recovery from the pandemic's impact. 

The development comes just days after the airline revived the last of its aircraft of this model that had been grounded during the global health crisis. The carrier's decision to acquire another widebody Boeing reflects its strategy to capitalize on the rapidly increasing passenger demand around the Pacific Rim, as reported by New Zealand's Stuff portal.

Also Read: Last Stored Boeing 777-300ER Returns to Air New Zealand's Fleet as Demand Soars

The airline had recently brought its final parked B777-300(ER) out of long-term storage at Victorville on April 1st and moved it to Singapore Changi for maintenance. The aircraft, ZK-OKM (msn 38405), had been in storage for over 850 days. It was one of four B777-300(ER)s that Air New Zealand had sent to California during the pandemic, while it parked the remaining three at Auckland International.

After being ferried in from Singapore on May 10, ZK-OKM returned to revenue service the next day, undertaking an Auckland - Nadi - Auckland rotation on May 11. Currently, Air New Zealand deploys its fleet of seven B777-300(ER)s on routes to various international destinations including Houston Intercontinental, Apia Faleolo, San Francisco, Sydney Kingsford Smith, Melbourne Tullamarine, and Los Angeles International, while its B787-9 fleet primarily serves ports in Asia and Australia.

An Air New Zealand spokesperson informed ch-aviation that details about the incoming B777-300(ER) were still being finalized and would be announced shortly.