Air NZ flights turn back, TAIC investigates

Some flights will be retimed or cancelled for checks on Air New Zealand's Dreamliners

Air New Zealand will cancel six worldwide flights and retime others between 7 and 10 December to accommodate urgent maintenance on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines that power its Boeing 787-9 fleet.

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.

While New Zealand's national carrier did not disclose the cause of the issue, the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission said it was investigating two events involving "engine abnormalities".

SIA will operate a mix of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs, while Air New Zealand will utilise its new configuration 787-9 aircraft, offering more premium seats than its current 787-9 fleet.

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On Wednesday, Air New Zealand's Auckland-Buenos Aires service was two hours enroute to Argentina when it turned back to Auckland after the crew was "alerted to abnormal indications on one of the engines", the TAIC said on its website.

Customers are encouraged to check this first before calling the airline's contact centre. A few weeks later Virgin Atlantic said it was had also experienced similar troubles with its Trent 1000 engines.

The Trent 1000 engine has had a number of technical hitches, which the manufacturer has been working hard to resolve, with a wide range of operators in recent years.

A company spokesperson said the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner had returned as a precaution due to "a possible engineering issue". The investigation into that incident recommended that Rolls-Royce review the design of the intermediate pressure turbines.

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