Due to changes made to the maintenance schedule of Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines, and to avoid any impact this would have on its passengers and operations, Air New Zealand will suspend its services to Seoul in South Korea and Hobart in Tasmania, Australia, next year.
“We have made the difficult decision to suspend two of our international routes”, warned Greg Foran, CEO of Air New Zealand on November 7. The season returns to the problems encountered by Pratt & Whitney engines equipping its A321neo. As a reminder, in July 2023, Pratt & Whitney disclosed a condition affecting the jet engine fleet maintenance plan Geared Turbofan (GTF)with up to 700 engines across the world that will be affected over the next three years, with the effect on global aviation being felt most keenly in the year ahead.
Air New Zealand counts 17 A320/321neo in its fleet of 108 aircraft, serving Australia, the Pacific Islands and inland New Zealand. Although this maintenance issue does not pose a safety concern, it has caused Air New Zealand to review its flight schedule following adjustments to the engine maintenance plan. “We were able to rearrange most of our schedule by consolidating some flights and moving planes to different routes”explains Greg Foran in Business Traveler. “Flights connecting Auckland and Hobart will be suspended from April 5, 2024, and our Auckland-Seoul service will be suspended from April 1, 2024. The pause on flights to Seoul is intended to allow more resilience when engines Trent1000 that power our 787 fleet will undergo regular maintenance due to potential issues with the availability of spare engines Rolls Royce to cover the maintenance period. While both routes have performed well, we need to ensure we can provide reliable service on the rest of our network and get customers on our most in-demand routes where they need to be. Customers will still be able to book to Hobart and Seoul with Air New Zealand, but these flights will not be direct and will be partly operated by our partner airlines. »
He added that the impacts of the change in service schedule Pratt & Whitney are important and could have a impact on services for up to two years, with the airline forced to ground up to four planes at a time. Air New Zealand says it is also managing other supply chain issues facing airlines around the world as it seeks to build additional fleet coverage. “Leasing additional aircraft is an option that we are studying closely. Our last leased Boeing 777-367ER is about to enter service and we are considering other lease options”completes the New Zealand company.
Remember that the American group RTXparent company of the engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitneyexpected a loss of $3 billion in the third quarter, due to problems caused by contaminants in the PW1100G engines that equip the Airbus A320neo family.