Merry Christmas from Air New Zealand

Here it is. Probably my final post of 2018 and bringing me bang up to date. Wellington got a special visitor on Christmas Eve in the shape of Air New Zealand’s first Airbus A321neo, ZK-NNA.

It is the first Airbus ‘neo aircraft, and the first A321 to operate in New Zealand. Seven A321neo aircraft will be joined by six A320neo to replace the original A320ceo fleet (ZK-OJ*) on trans-Tasman and Pacific island routes. That fleet first entered service in 2003.

Herewith a handful of shots of ZK-NNA arriving at and departing Wellington.

On finals.




Pushback from gate 13.


Ready to roll.




The last three photographs above were taken from a new spotting location, on top of the airport’s brand new 8-storey car park. The new Rydges Hotel blocks a very small section of the runway, otherwise very good views are to be had of arriving and departing aircraft. Most aircraft on gates are obscured by the terminal excepting those international gates at the north end. If taking photos, a decent zoom lens will be required as at the nearest point, the runway centreline is approximately 460m away. I found my 450mm equivalent lens to be sufficient.

Here is an example of a Jetstar Airbus A320, VH-VFU, being pushed back onto taxiway bravo.


While at the airport to view the A321neo, I was lucky enough to catch another few shots of one of the aircraft the ‘neos will replace. Air New Zealand’s Airbus A320, ZK-OJH, has worn the Star Alliance scheme for as long as I can remember, but I don’t see it often.


And how about this for a picturesque comparison of old and new…


The complete set of 16 photos is viewable here on Flickr.




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