Air New Zealand has now completed the engine checks required this week as part of a global inspection of some Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.
European aviation regulator EASA issued a directive requiring operators of a type of Trent 1000 engine known as ‘Package C’ to carry out earlier than usual maintenance checks on a specific part of the engine compressor.
As a result of the checks two Air New Zealand 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft will be temporarily removed from service while engines undergo maintenance work at a Rolls-Royce facility in Singapore.
Around 340 engines globally are subject to the checks and this is placing very high demand on Rolls-Royce’s maintenance facility meaning it may take a number of months before Air New Zealand’s engine repair work can be completed.
Earlier this week Air New Zealand rescheduled a number of services and cancelled a small number of services this week and next. Going forward the airline will need to continue to make changes to flight timings and the aircraft type operating on some routes in order to avoid further flight cancellations to the extent that is possible.
Schedule changes will be published in the coming days and Air New Zealand will communicate directly with affected customers and travel agents.
Air New Zealand is also investigating a range of charter options to minimise customer impact, which will include re-introducing charter services operated European carrier Hi Fly next month.
Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer David Morgan says the airline remains fully compliant with the directives of EASA, the US aviation regulator FAA, and from Rolls-Royce.
“Unfortunately this will mean disruption for our customers in the coming months as we adjust our schedule and fleet utilisation to accommodate these challenges and we thank our customers for their patience as we work through this.
“Like Air New Zealand, aviation regulators prioritise safety over everything else and EASA and FAA have taken a very conservative approach in the checks and restrictions they’ve put in place around these engines.
“Customers travelling on our Dreamliner aircraft can be very confident in the integrity of the engines.”