Air New Zealand reschedules over Rolls-Royce engines

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Air New Zealand is cancelling some long-haul flights over the coming weeks and delaying others after two incidents involving engines on its Dreamliners.

Rolls-Royce has advised that some of the Trent 1000 engines in the airline's Boeing 787-9 fleet require maintenance sooner than previously indicated.

Air New Zealand further noted that the United Kingdom group did not have spare engines available while the maintenance work was being undertaken, meaning it would be focused on finding replacement aircraft capacity.

The airlines will continue to operate one daily return service each on the Auckland-Singapore route, with a third service operated by Singapore Airlines during the Northern Winter season and Air New Zealand during the Northern Summer season.

The day before on Tuesday 5 December, passengers got a fright when an Air New Zealand plane began to malfunction on its way to Japan.

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However, an Air New Zealand spokesperson says these were two different aircraft. In addition to this, the latest available information on any schedule changes will be published to the Travel Alerts section of the Air New Zealand website, an airline statement said.

Singapore Airlines senior vice president marketing planning, Tan Kai Ping, said the alliance with Air New Zealand had already benefited customers through more capacity, choice, improved connections and more codeshare destinations.

The Trent 1000 engine has had a number of technical hitches, which the manufacturer has been working hard to resolve, with a wide range of operators in recent years.

"It's not uncommon for long-term engine programmes to experience technical issues during their life and we manage them through proactive maintenance", a Rolls-Royce spokeswoman was quoted as saying by Reuters.