Due to a change in the maintenance plan for Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan (GTF) engines, Air New Zealand will suspend Hobart services beginning in April.
Due to a “rare condition” concerning the powder metal used in certain parts, the airline is suspending all flights between Auckland and Hobart starting on 5 April so that they may do maintenance on the engines powering its A320neo and A321neo aircraft.
Flights from Auckland to Seoul will also be suspended from 1 April to allow for more resiliency when the engines on Air New Zealand’s 787 aircraft require routine repair.
“Air New Zealand’s fleet of 108 aircraft includes 17 A320/321neo aircraft serving Australia, the Pacific Islands, and domestic New Zealand.” While this maintenance issue is not a safety concern, it has required Air New Zealand to amend its flight schedule due to changes made to the engine maintenance plan,” said Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran.
“While both routes have performed well, we need to ensure that we can deliver a consistent service across the rest of our network and get customers on our most in-demand routes where they need to be.” Customers can book flights to Hobart and Seoul with Air New Zealand, but they will not be direct and will be operated in part by our partner airlines.”
I expect the problem to affect up to 700 GTF engines over the next three years, with the most significant effect expected in the next year. Air New Zealand anticipates that up to four aircraft will be grounded anytime.
“We are seriously considering leasing additional aircraft.” “Our most recently leased Boeing 777-367ER aircraft is about to enter service, and we are looking into other lease options,” Foran added.
“The aviation industry is complex, and it is a challenging time in the aviation ecosystem.” We understand these adjustments will frustrate some customers, and we apologise. It’s not the news we hoped for after announcing earlier this year that we had bought additional planes to increase capacity and help meet continued high demand.”
Air New Zealand will get two new ATRs from late 2024 to early 2025, two new A321neos in early 2025, two domestic A321s, and eight 787s between 2024 and 2027.