Air New Zealand recently unveiled a new A321neo with jet black Star Alliance livery. Air New Zealand’s Chief Transformation and Alliances Officer Mike Williams says the A321neo is the world’s first black Star Alliance aircraft.
“While Star Alliance livery is typically white with a black tail fin, we asked if we could do something a little different and inverse the colours in celebration of how important black is to Air New Zealand and New Zealand. Black is an iconic Kiwi colour. From sports jerseys to gumboots, black is embedded in New Zealand’s national identity and worn with pride, so it’s fantastic to welcome this aircraft with its special black livery into our fleet. Kiwis missing the Koru need not look too far – our iconic mangōpare will feature on the wingtips in this one-off design.”
Star Alliance Vice President for Alliance Development and Communications Siu Ling Fock says “as the largest and longest-running airline alliance in the world, Star Alliance honours each of our 26 member airlines’ distinct heritage, character and style. We know the significance of the colour black to New Zealanders, so when Air New Zealand proposed to launch the first-ever all-black aircraft with Star Alliance livery, we were happy to agree. This launch also comes at a special time for Star Alliance, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. Since Air New Zealand joined us as a member in 1999, we’ve been proud to have them be a part of the Star Alliance network that flies people to destinations all over the world, from Canada to Croatia, and Turkey to Thailand.”
The new aircraft, which can seat up to 217 customers, will be one of three A321neos to join the airline’s fleet in the coming months, helping get customers to where they need to be in time for the busy Christmas and holiday period. The aircraft will fly on the airline’s domestic network so there will be plenty of opportunities for Kiwi plane spotters to see the unique livery. It is expected to touch down in November, after making the 17,825km journey from the Airbus factory in Hamburg in Germany, through Muscat, Kuala Lumpur and Cairns, before arriving in Auckland.
Another A321neo, which will be painted in the Air New Zealand’s classic black and white livery, is expected to arrive in September. Air New Zealand has an average fleet age of 7.3 years making it one of the youngest and most efficient fleets in the world.