Air New Zealand has grounded two of its Airbus jets over a global engine supply shortage now affecting 28 airlines worldwide.
Two Airbus A321neos were taken out of service. including one aircraft which was only introduced in 2022 and is the carrier’s biggest-ever jet dedicated to domestic flying.
“Essentially, we don’t have enough engines,” group general manager of engineering and maintenance, Brett Daley told Stuff Travel. “The scheduled removal of engines and usual non-scheduled removals are all coming together at the same time for every operator around the world.”
According to flightradar24.com data, the two A321neo aircraft have not flown for the past few weeks, with ch-aviation.com data also showing that they have been in maintenance at Auckland International Airport (AKL).
ZK-OYA’s last flight was on March 10, 2023, while ZK-OYC last flew on April 1, 2023, with both landing at AKL on their respective last flights.
Air New Zealand’s fleet of A320 and A321s are powered by engines made by manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, which has experience supply issues this year.
Air New Zealand currently has 32 engines on its planes, four spares, and three lease options, but executives at the carrier are still concerned about its ability to operate.
According to Stuff Travel, the engines will be removed from the grounded domestic planes and used on aircrafts that fly internationally.
150,000 passengers will have their flights affected, with most customers facing a 90-minute alteration to their original departure time.
In February 2023, more than 50 IndiGo and Go First planes were grounded in India due to Pratt & Whitney’s engine issues and persisting supply chain woes.
Executives at US-based Raytheon Technologies, the parent company of Pratt & Whitney, warned during the firm’s earnings call in January 2023 that material shortages related to engine castings would continue throughout the year.