Air New Zealand shareholders on Thursday approved a plan to buy 10 jets from the Boeing Co., including two 7E7s.
The step was required under New Zealand stock exchange laws, given the size of the deal.
The airline wants to buy eight 777-200ERs and two 7E7s, worth a total of $1.15 billion at list prices, although it’s likely the airline got a discount.
Boeing spokeswoman Yvonne Leach said Thursday’s action means a final contract should be signed within a few weeks.
“We’re very close to finalizing an agreement,” she said. “We still have a few details to work through.”
The airline said it will take delivery of the first 777 in September, with all of them scheduled to go into service by the end of 2006.
Air New Zealand also took options on 46 other planes.
The airline announced its intent to buy the planes in June, making it the second customer to sign up for the 7E7.
Since then, two other airlines have announced they also plan to buy the planes. First Choice Mainstream Holidays of Great Britain plans to take six 7E7s, while Blue Panorama of Italy intends to take four.
Boeing remains in talks about the 7E7 with some two dozen other airlines that have put down deposits on more than 200 planes, Leach said.