Air New Zealand has completed the aviation industry’s first flight approved for 330-minute extended operations (ETOPS) with its Boeing 777-200ER (Extended Range) jetliner. The aircraft flew from Auckland, New Zealand to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a flight duration of approximately 12 hours.
“We’re delighted to be the first airline globally to offer the longer ETOPS on our 777-200 aircraft for our Auckland - Buenos route. It allows us to offer a new and exciting destination for our customers,” said Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan, adding that the approval for 330-minute extended operations offered the airline more direct services flexibility.
“We are pleased to mark this milestone with Air New Zealand, a valued Boeing customer, who has led the industry on ETOPS approvals for decades,” said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager, 777 program. “Air New Zealand has truly embraced Boeing’s philosophy of point-to-point service, creating new and exciting routes to connect passengers worldwide.”
The requirements for a 330-minute ETOPS authorization are extremely stringent with the airplane configuration and operational requirements set by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority. The ability of the 777-200ER airplanes fitted with Rolls-Royce engines to fly up to 330-minutes from airports, allows more direct flight routing resulting in lower fuel usage and reduced emissions. The airline commenced 240-minute 777-200ER/Rolls-Royce Trent 800 ETOPS flights from October 2014. The long-range routes were flown for approximately a year before approval was granted for 330-minute ETOPS.