Air New Zealand (NZ, Auckland Int'l) has upheld plans to retire its nine B777-200(ER)s from 2023 with the hunt now on for a replacement.

"Given the long lead times to receive aircraft, we recently issued a Request For Proposal to the aircraft manufacturers and expect to announce a decision on the replacement aircraft in the next six to eight months," chief executive Christopher Luxon said in the airline's FY2018 annual report. "Those aircraft will then come into service towards the end of the 2022 calendar year."

Earlier this year, Luxon said Air New Zealand was looking at the A350, B777X, and B787-10 as potential options but noted the A350-900(ULR) would allow it to offer non-stop flights to destinations such as Brazil and the US East Coast.

In the same filing, Air New Zealand confirmed it has now ordered seven more A321neo from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac), adding to the seven that it has already committed to.

According to its FY2018 results, three of the aircraft will deliver in 2020 followed by two in 2022, and two in 2024. The jets will collectively replace on a one-for-one basis, seven older leased A320-200s currently used for domestic and trans-Tasman services.

Air New Zealand has also deferred the delivery of one A320neo for international short-haul flights from 2020 to 2022.

With these revisions combined, of Air New Zealand's fifteen owned A320/321neo on order, six are due in 2019, four in 2020, three in 2022, with the two aforementioned A321neo due in 2024. Of five A320/A321neo due to be delivered via third-party lessors, four are due in 2019 and one in 2020.