Air New Zealand just recently wrapped up a nearly year-long lease on a Wamos Air jet. Just weeks after the plane stopped flying for Air New Zealand, it’ll be making a comeback…
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Air New Zealand leasing plane from Spanish charter airline
Air New Zealand will be wet leasing an Airbus A330 from Spanish charter airline Wamos Air for part of the upcoming peak (southern) summer season.
Between February 9 and April 30, 2024, the plane will be used daily on Air New Zealand’s Auckland (AKL) to Perth (PER) route, which operates with the following schedule:
NZ173 Auckland to Perth departing 2:10PM arriving 4:55PM
NZ174 Perth to Auckland departing 6:50PM arriving 6:25AM (+1 day)
The 3,323-mile flight is blocked at 7hr45min westbound and 6hr35min eastbound. Air New Zealand has historically operated a Boeing 787 on this route.
This will be a wet lease agreement, meaning that the plane and crew will be provided by Wamos Air, while the standard Air New Zealand catering and amenities will apply. Those who are regulars on the route may already be familiar with Wamos Air, as exactly the same arrangement was in place from November 2022 until October 2023, so let’s see if it’s extended for a longer period this time around.
What’s Air New Zealand’s logic for leasing a Wamos Air A330? An Air New Zealand spokesperson describes this arrangement as a “proactive, temporary measure which means we can avoid major flight cancellations while we undertake additional aircraft maintenance in early 2024.” The airline is “preparing for some of its fleet to undergo maintenance next year due to global engine maintenance issues, which a number of airlines around the world are facing.”
What is Wamos Air’s Airbus A330 like?
As you’d expect, the interior of Wamos Air’s A330-200 is a bit different than what you’d find on Air New Zealand’s 787-9. Wamos Air’s A330 that’s being leased features a total of 280 seats, and the cabin was recently refreshed.
Business class consists of a total of 20 seats. They’re in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration, meaning all passengers get direct aisle access.
Meanwhile the plane has 260 seats in economy, in a 2-4-2 configuration.
This leased A330 won’t feature premium economy, unlike on Air New Zealand. As a result, those booked in premium economy will be downgraded to economy, and will receive the fare difference. The Wamos Air A330 doesn’t feature Wi-Fi, but then again, some Air New Zealand’s 787s don’t have that either.
Ironically enough, at least in business class, this leased plane may provide an upgraded experience over Air New Zealand’s subpar herringbone business class product, which leaves a lot to be desired. Air New Zealand is also leasing a Cathay Pacific 777, which no doubt offers the best business class experience in the fleet.
Air New Zealand is leasing a Wamos Air Airbus A330 for its Auckland to Perth route in the coming months. This will allow the airline to perform maintenance on some Boeing 787s while running a reliable operation. Kudos to Air New Zealand for being proactive in managing its operation.
As you’d expect, Wamos Air’s A330 features a very different inflight experience than Air New Zealand’s 787, though it’s not all bad news, at least in business class.
What do you make of Air New Zealand’s wet lease agreement?