Air NZ to suspend Auckland-Chicago route amid aircraft troubles

Air New Zealand, Boeing, 787, Dreamliner, Taxiing at Auckland International Airport, And A320 Taking off, New Zealand, February 5 2020
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Air New Zealand will pause its Auckland–Chicago non-stop service from 31 March to 25 October 2024 as the embattled airline struggles with the limited availability of serviceable Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

    These are the engines used on Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787 aircraft.

    Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said it was a difficult decision to make, but one that results in the least number of customers impacted.

    “Unfortunately, Air New Zealand continues to be impacted by challenges with availability of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, meaning we will now have up to three aircraft unavailable for an extended period, so we’ve had to review our schedule,” Geraghty said.

    “We made the tough decision to temporarily pause the Chicago route while maintaining our schedule of up to 35 flights each week to six ports across the US and Canada, so there are still plenty of options to get to Chicago, the US, and beyond.”

    Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 – used on the Auckland-Chicago route

    Customers with bookings on Air New Zealand’s Chicago services will be rebooked with a connection through another US airport to get them to their destination as quickly as possible. Customers who booked directly with Air New Zealand will receive their new itinerary within 72 hours and do not need to contact Air New Zealand.

    Customers can opt to receive a full refund or place their booking into credit.

    Geraghty emphasised that getting Air NZ’s customers to their destination safely is the “number one priority” and ensuring aircraft and engines maintenance is of the highest standard.

    “These challenges do not present a safety risk to customers flying on our 787 fleet,” she said.

    “We’d like to thank customers in advance for their patience and understanding as our teams work as fast as they can to make these changes.”

    Featured Image: Air New Zealand at Auckland International Airport – iStock/Rusell Hendry

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