Air New Zealand reschedules over Rolls-Royce engines

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Air New Zealand is cancelling some flights and retiming others due to maintenance requirements on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines that power its Boeing 787-9 fleet.

Air New Zealand is the latest Rolls customer to suffer problems with the Trent 1000 engines on the 787.

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.

"In addition to these changes, Air New Zealand is focused on securing replacement aircraft capacity".

Nick Judd, Air New Zealand's chief strategy, networks and alliances officer, Nick Judd, added that the extra flight would be "especially appealing to travellers to and from Europe, India and southeast Asia".

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New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission says on its website that it is investigating two "engine abnormality" incidents involving Air NZ 787-9s that occurred on 5 and 6 December.

According to the New Zealand Herald, passengers on the flight to Tokyo reported hearing "weird noises" and said the aircraft was shaking throughout the flight.

The pilot elected to shut down one of the plane's engines as a precaution during flight NZ99 to Narita, Tokyo. A few weeks later Virgin Atlantic said it was had also experienced similar troubles with its Trent 1000 engines.

"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.

The issue stemmed from corrosion and cracking of turbine blades and forced Rolls-Royce to fit new blades on all the 787s operated by Japan's largest airline.

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