Air New Zealand Operates World’s First 240 ETOPS Flight

Posted on 14/12/2011 by JO

Air New Zealand has completed the world’s first commercial “240 minute ETOPS” flight this month, operating a flight between the USA and New Zealand.

The flight from Los Angeles to Auckland was operated by one of Air New Zealand’s new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and is a milestone for the aviation industry. The 777-300ER secured its certification in the first week of December enabling Air New Zealand to operate the first commercial flight using a Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand (CAA NZ) 240 minutes ETOPS approval. The flight was under the command of Air New Zealand’s chief pilot Captain David Morgan with Captain Mark Mullins, First Officer Alastair Russell and Second Officer Frazer Offwood and operated a User Preferred Route (UPR) track using 240 minutes ETOPS.

 Captain David Morgan says one of the key benefits of the new 240 minute ETOPS operations is a reduction in carbon emissions. “The new ETOPS operations enable us to fly a more direct route between airports, which means we can get our customers to their destination a little quicker and at the same time reduce the amount of fuel required, resulting in fewer carbon emissions being emitted,” says Captain Morgan.

The procedure required to achieve ETOPS operational certification involves compliance with advanced flight crew and engineering procedures in addition to the standard procedures. The airline is required to have extensive experience operating long distance flights and the pilots and engineering staff must be qualified and trained for ETOPS operations.

Air New Zealand was also the first airline to secure 180 minute ETOPS approval for its Boeing 767 operations between Auckland, Nadi (Fiji), Honolulu and Los Angeles back in December 1989