Little big plane now has a big big brother

Checking out the “flight-line” at Everett Field this past week, I noticed something unusual.

At first I thought who the heck, in this age of multi colour, would paint an airplane black.

(Real Estate relevance to this seemingly unrelated story – coming up…..)

Then after a couple of seconds it sunk in. ZK-OKQ sounds very much like a New Zealand rego.

PHOTO CREDIT : COLIN HUNTER

Remember these planes above from NZ’s recent Rugby World Cup. (click here to be taken to the site to see the FULL SIZE version of this “perfect timing” photo of each airlines tribute plane in this great shot from Colin Hunter)

After the very choreographed new Allblacks RWC2011 BLACK Airbus 320 (ZK-OAB) introduction some time back, it seems that another three Beech 1900D from Air New Zealand partner, link airline Eagle Air have also been painted to commemorate our winning rugby team.

But the trump card comes this week with the unveiling of the largest commercial airliner to date, that has been painted with over 700 lit ( 700 liters ) of black paint.

And according to past legends of NZ Rugby;

……(it) looked “sensational” and would “really turn heads” at airports around the world.

Expect the usual Air NZ treatment when she arrives, and I for one am hopeing for once, that TV1, 2, 3, 4 or someone decides to pick up the expected continuous live feed.

After all folks, even though Air New Zealand does have over 100 aircraft, including already 12 B777’s this is a $200 million dollar investment in New Zealand. And lets not forget Boeings latest incantation, the B777-300 (the cuddle class things) Air NZ has 4, and at an average  age of less than 12 mths they are some the newest planes in the longhaul world. We need these big fellows to economically cover the sort of distances than NZ, being at the bottom of the world downunder demands.

Ooophs nearly forgot ~ the real estate relevance.

There are two really important demographics that an airline like Air NZ should correctly target. No. 1 are those from abroad for whom, but not always, after visiting Godsown….want to live here….and then there are returning Kiwis, for whom and lets not forget this small but significant point, the “ease of regular travel back home” is high on their list of desires.

On top of this there will be the aging ex-pat boomers who long for home (not forgetting NZ has the 2nd most highest ex-pat population in the World, behind Ireland)

And in case you are still wondering, as NZ’s sunshine capital, Nelson has more than just a little bit to benefit from this traffic.

Air New Zealand RELATED UPDATE 21-12-2011

Air New Zealand has just been granted type design ­approval for 330min extended operations (ETOPs) for its Boeing 777-300ER twinjets. This is also important because it could potentially mean even shorter trips on these planes over their longest ocean legs.