Air New Zealand to cancel multiple services over Christmas as Rolls-Royce engine woes continue

A Boeing 787 operated by Air New Zealand takes off from Shanghai airport

Around 14,000 travellers are expected to be impacted by changes to Air New Zealand services.

Air New Zealand said on Monday multiple services around the Christmas break will be cancelled due to an ongoing international issue plaguing Rolls-Royce engines, which are used on some of the kiwi carrier’s Dreamliner aircraft.

Rolls-Royce requires operators of its Trent 1000 TEN model engines to carry out more frequent maintenance as a result of an issue with the engine’s high-pressure turbine blades.

Air New Zealand has 10 Trent 1000 TEN engines fitted to its 787-9 fleet and has been working to minimise disruption, but schedule changes are now unavoidable, the airline said in a statement.

“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 New Zealand senior fleet manager 787 captain Dave Wilson said.

As a result, the airline has been forced to suspend its twice-weekly seasonal Christchurch–Perth service, resulting in the cancellation of 62 flights.

The airline will also cancel its second daily Auckland–Perth service from 10 December 2019 until 5 January 2020, but will continue to operate its 11:10am Auckland-Perth and 6:50pm Perth-Auckland services as scheduled.

Outside the Perth route, a limited number of international cancellations will also take place from 10 December–2 January, with all dates given in local time:

Air New Zealand says 14,000 customers will be affected

Air New Zealand’s senior manager of customer care and communications, Doug Grant, advised that around 14,000 customers will be impacted by the cancellations.

“Going into the holiday season we’re acutely aware how important travel is to our customers, and our schedule changes are designed to keep cancellations to a minimum,” Grant said.

Qantas has not been affected by the issue, as the flying kangaroo ordered General Electric GEnx engines for its fleet of Dreamliners.

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