Air New Zealand suspends Boeing 787 US route, carrier blames engine frustrations

Air New Zealand Boeing 787
Carlos Yudica /

Air New Zealand has announced that it will suspend its US route from Auckland Airport (AKL) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) from March 2024.

The New Zealand flag carrier apologized to its customers who were due to travel between the two cities from March 31 to October 25, 2024, and will now face cancellations.

In a statement issued by Air New Zealand on March 12, 2024, the carrier blamed “ongoing challenges with the availability of serviceable” Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

Air New Zealand uses Trent 1000 engine on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft that operate on the route between Aukland and Chicago.

Explaining the decision, Air New Zealand said that after 1000 engine cycles (takeoffs and landings) Trent 1000 engines normally require heavy maintenance, in which they are taken off the aircraft and sent to the offshore manufacturer for inspection.

However, during regular inspections, Air New Zealand engineers identified that the engines required maintenance after 750-850 cycles.

The airline said that Rolls-Royce had been unable to provide it with spare or replacement engines to deliver the level of service needed, leading to a reduction in the amount of flying Air New Zealand can deliver via its 787 fleet.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty said that that airline will now have up to “three aircraft unavailable for an extended period”.

“We know this will be disappointing for customers travelling to and from Chicago during this period, especially to those travelling over the upcoming April holiday break. It’s not a decision we’ve made lightly and we’re sorry to make this change so close to the time some customers plan to fly,” Geraghty said.

She added: “We made the tough decision to temporarily pause the Chicago route while maintaining our schedule of up to 35 flights each week to six ports across the US and Canada, so there are still plenty of options to get to Chicago, the US, and beyond.”

In November 2023, Air New Zealand announced that it would pause its Auckland to Seoul service from April 1, 2024, due to availability issues with the Trent 1000 engine.

The airline has also been hit by Pratt & Whitney engine problems affecting its A320neo and A321neo aircraft.

Air New Zealand added that the challenges with its Trent 1000 engines “do not present a safety risk to customers flying on our 787 fleet”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

AeroTime is on YouTube

Subscribe to the AeroTime Hub channel for exclusive video content.

Subscribe to AeroTime Hub