Air New Zealand will today announce its next widebody plane fleet, with manufacturer Boeing poised to emerge from a shroud of secrecy to win the billion dollar-plus deal.

The airline could opt for new versions of 787 Dreamliners it already has in its fleet, although it has the opportunity to move away from Rolls-Royce engines on planes which will replace its eight 777-200s.

Throughout the last two years the two big planemakers, Boeing and Europe-based Airbus, have been invited to submit proposals to Air New Zealand which remains tight-lipped on which way it has gone. Airlines typically play the big