WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — National carrier Air New Zealand said Thursday its annual profit more than doubled from the previous year as it moves ahead with plans to buy 21 new planes.
The company announced an after-tax profit of 182 million New Zealand dollars ($142 million) on revenue of NZ$4.6 billion in the year ending June 30, a profit increase of 156 percent over the previous year.
It was a continued improvement for the airline, which was on the verge of bankruptcy before being bailed out by the New Zealand government in 2002. It struggled again through the 2008 global downturn.
The New Zealand government continues to own a 73 percent stake in the company but plans to sell that down to a 51 percent stake in the next few years.
The company said it plans to invest NZ$1.8 billion in new airplanes 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 airline, and expects to take delivery of the first of its 787-9s next June.
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