Christmas chaos looms for thousands of Air New Zealand customers who will be affected by ongoing Rolls-Royce engine checks on the airline’s planes.
Christmas chaos looms for thousands of Air New Zealand customers who will be affected by ongoing Rolls-Royce engine checks on the airline’s planes.

Travel chaos as Air New Zealand cancels flights

Christmas chaos looms for about 14,000 Air New Zealand customers who will be affected by ongoing Rolls-Royce engine checks on its 787-9 planes.

The national carrier confirmed today it had 10 Trent 1000 engines on its 787-9 fleet but that schedule changes were "now unavoidable".

The airline also said further cancellations may occur.

Air New Zealand has been forced to cancel flights due to ongoing Rolls-Royce engine checks.
Air New Zealand has been forced to cancel flights due to ongoing Rolls-Royce engine checks.

Rolls-Royce is asking operators of the engines to carry out more frequent maintenance because of an issue with its high-pressure turbine blades, Air NZ said.

"Rolls-Royce has told us it doesn't have the capacity to do this maintenance work quickly, as we are just one of many airlines affected globally," Air NZ said in a statement.

"We are deeply disappointed to be in this position again, but safety is paramount and non-negotiable.

"While we've worked hard to limit the impact, Rolls-Royce does not have any replacement engines and there's a significant wait for repairs at its Singapore facility.

"As a result, we've had to make some changes to our international schedule over summer, including a limited number of cancellations and changes to aircraft scheduled to operate some Tasman and Pacific Island services.

"Flights within New Zealand are not affected."

About 14,000 Air New Zealand customers will be affected by the ongoing Rolls-Royce engine checks on its 787-9 planes.
About 14,000 Air New Zealand customers will be affected by the ongoing Rolls-Royce engine checks on its 787-9 planes.

The biggest change is the suspension of Air NZ's twice-weekly Perth-Christchurch flight - resulting in the cancellation of 62 flights.

It will also cancel its second daily Auckland-Perth service from December 10 until January 5, 2020, the airline said in a statement sent to media.

Auckland-Sydney services and Auckland-Tonga services have also been cancelled.

MORE NEWS

 

Qantas axes route to major Asian hub

 

Branson's stern bushfire warning

 

Branson's coffee shock on Aussie cruise stunt

 

Air New Zealand senior fleet manager 787 Captain Dave Wilson said the airline had been performing regular precautionary checks on the engines since April and had done all it could to fast-track the required maintenance.

"Based on the maintenance needs of our engines, we expect some will need to be inspected in December and January and then serviced by Rolls-Royce offshore and unfortunately, Rolls-Royce has no capacity to alleviate this pressure," he said.

"We have 14 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft in our fleet and four spare engines to power these. However, all these spare engines are with Rolls Royce offshore either undergoing service or waiting for a service slot."

Air NZ said it would start processing customers' bookings this week and then start to contact affected customers directly.

Details of flight suspensions and cancellations will be updated on the airline's website.


Massive three-day drugs, weapons bust bags 309 charges

premium_icon Massive three-day drugs, weapons bust bags 309 charges

Police have charged 45 people on 309 drug, property, and weapon offences.

‘My dog saved my life’: Amazing house fire rescue

premium_icon ‘My dog saved my life’: Amazing house fire rescue

'My dog was nosing under my arm and lifting my arm up.'

Cows on the road? What you need to know

premium_icon Cows on the road? What you need to know

Police explain what happens when stray livestock wander onto roads.