Air New Zealand saw annual profits more than double and it is to acquire 21 more aircraft.
The carrier’s net profits rose by 156% to NZ$182 million ($142 million) on revenue up by 3% to NZ$4.6 billion in the year to June 30.
The airline plans to invest NZ$1.8 billion in new aircraft over the next three years, including six Boeing 787-9s, the stretch version of the Dreamliner.
Air New Zealand is a launch customer for the new Boeing type, and expects to take delivery of the first of its 787-9s next June.
The company also plans to buy nine Airbus A320s, two Boeing 777-300ERs, and four ATR72-600s.
Chief executive Christopher Luxon believes the result makes Air New Zealand “one of the strongest-performing airlines” in the world.
He told the Associated Press that the carrier is benefiting from a shift in global economic power from the Atlantic to the Pacific and a corresponding increase in demand for Asian and Pacific routes. He said the company’s business in China was up 55%.
The company announced a final annual dividend of 8 New Zealand cents per share, up 45 percent. Operating cash flow was NZ$750 million, and before-tax profit was NZ$256 million.
The New Zealand government owns 73% stake in the airline but plans to reduce that to 51% in the next few years by selling some of its shares.
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