Air New Zealand Flight Disruptions Could Last for 2 Years

Air New Zealand is facing potential disruptions to its services for the next two years as it conducts inspections on 17 of its aircraft to identify microscopic cracks in the engines’ fans.

In July, Pratt and Whitney, an engine manufacturer, revealed the need for inspections on up to 700 planes worldwide, which is impacting maintenance schedules.

Air New Zealand has stated that the 17 A320 and 321 NEO aircraft serve Australia, the Pacific Islands, and domestic routes.

The airline’s CEO, Greg Foran, has mentioned that the majority of customers will still fly on the same day, but some international flight passengers may need to adjust their travel dates by one day earlier or later than their original booking.

Air New Zealand anticipates having up to four planes grounded simultaneously and is exploring the option of leasing additional aircraft to mitigate the impact of these inspections.

Direct flights from Auckland to Hobart and Seoul would also be paused from April 2024.

“The pause on flying to Seoul will allow more resiliency when the Trent-1000 engines that power our 787 fleet go for regular maintenance due to potential issues with the availability of spare engines from Rolls-Royce to cover the maintenance period,” Foran said.

“While both routes have performed well, we need to ensure we can deliver a reliable service across the rest of our network and get customers on our most in-demand routes to where they need to be.”

Customers affected by the disruptions do not need to proactively reach out to Air New Zealand; the airline will contact them in the upcoming weeks to provide information.

The airline’s CEO, Greg Foran, acknowledged that this was not the news they had hoped for, especially since they had recently announced the acquisition of new aircraft to increase capacity and meet the ongoing high demand for their services.

Air New Zealand’s planned acquisition of new aircraft, including ATRs, A321NEOs, domestic A321s, and B787s, is still on track for delivery between 2024 and 2027. However, the airline acknowledges the necessity of network and schedule adjustments due to unforeseen issues. They are committed to maintaining stability across their network in light of these challenges.

SOURCE: Air New Zealand Flight Disruptions Could Last for 2 Years