As Air New Zealand continues to respond to a global issue affecting some of the Rolls-Royce engines that power its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet it expects around 9,000 customers to be affected by re-timed international services this week.

The impact is confined to two key United States routes (Los Angeles and Houston) as well as Japan services operating to and from Haneda airport and a limited number of trans-Tasman and Pacific Island flights. All other services are expected to operate as normal.

The number of customers likely to be impacted by these changes is less than three percent of all customers travelling with Air New Zealand this week.

Weight restrictions included in an FAA directive issued last week mean some Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flights to Asian destinations will be required to make refueling stops.

Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer David Morgan says, depending on en route weather conditions, some flights may not be able to depart with all the fuel they require, prompting the need for the fuel stop. Over the weekend, 787-9 flights made fuel stops at Sydney, Cairns, Darwin and Guam.

“Having the flexibility to make a short fuel stop means we are more likely to be able to take a full contingent of customers and cargo. The alternative would see us potentially having to disappoint significant numbers of customers by moving them to later flights. We are committed to doing everything possible to avoid this, particularly during this busy school holiday travel period.

“The fuel stops take around an hour to complete and passengers must remain on board. Where possible the operating pilots will increase speed to make up time to achieve an arrival time at destination as close to schedule as possible.”

Customers who have a connecting flight booked on the same ticket, and who are likely to misconnect as a result of the fuel stop, will be rebooked onto the next available connection.