Air New Zealand had to cancel flights and make scheduling changes because of the maintenance issues with the Rolls-Royce engines on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft, the airline announced on December 7, 2017. The airline admitted the action is being taken following two recent incidents involving the Trent 1000 engines.  

Two recent incidents involving Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft engines prompted to bring forward the maintenance of Trent 1000 engines by Rolls-Royce in the airline's Boeing 787-9 fleet “sooner than previously indicated”, the carrier announced in a statement on December 7, 2017.

The incidents are being investigated by New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission, BBC reports. Although the airline does not disclose the specific circumstances, Reuters points out two flights that have been returned ─ it is the flights from Auckland to Tokyo and to Buenos Aires. The official reason provided by the airline on the latter flight return is named as “a possible engineering issue", according to New Zealand Herald.

 “Rolls-Royce does not have any replacement engines available while this maintenance work is undertaken which means some schedule changes are unavoidable”, is said in the carrier’s statement, adding that the airline is “focused on securing replacement aircraft capacity”.

For the meantime, the re-timing and a “limited number” of cancellations on international flights are announced for the period between December 7 and 10, 2017.  More scheduling changes are coming in the following weeks.

The premature wear and corrosion issues with Rolls-Royce Trent-1000 engines were found in 2016. The engines power the global fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, amounting to around 160 aircraft in total. The company estimates that it will take roughly three years to replace the blades in all the affected engines.

The Japanese airline ANA had to replace engine blades of all 50 of its Boeing 787s the after corrosion and cracking of turbine blades caused three engine failures in 2016. In July 2017 Thai Airways announced the intention to claim financial compensation from Rolls-Royce, after the airline had to ground some of its Boeing 787-8s Dreamliner fleet due to Trent-1000 engine problem repairs.