Auckland-Perth will be the first route operated by the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner variant when Air New Zealand takes delivery of the launch aircraft next year.

Other routes to be served by the stretched version of the Dreamliner will be Auckland to Tokyo and Shanghai.

The aircraft will be configured with an 18-lie-flat seat Business Premier zone in a herringbone layout and a separate 21-seat Premium Economy cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration. Two economy cabins will accommodate 263 passengers.

Bookings have now opened for the Perth route which will be served by the new aircraft from October 15, 2014 as part of an alliance on trans-Tasman routes with Virgin Australia.

ANZ chief executive Christopher Luxon said: “We are determined to deliver step changes in customer experience and to work with our trade partners to crack business issues and seize opportunities together.”