Air New Zealand grounds flights after engine problems

An Air New Zealand 787-9 DreamlinerImage copyright
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Air New Zealand said problems with Rolls-Royce engines on its aircraft have forced the carrier to ground some international flights.

The firm said some engines on its Boeing 787-9 fleet require maintenance following recent “engine events”.

Two flights were forced to return to Auckland this week after mechanical trouble, local media reported.

Japan’s ANA and Britain’s Virgin Atlantic have previously reported problems with the Trent 1000 engines.

Rolls-Royce said in August that components on some Trent 1000 engines were wearing out earlier than expected, according to reports.

In a statement to the New Zealand stock exchange on Thursday, Air New Zealand said as a result of recent Rolls Royce “engine events” on its Boeing 787-9 fleet, it would cancel and delay flights each day over the coming weeks.

It comes as the New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission investigates two incidents involving “engine abnormalities” on the carrier’s services this week.

The Air New Zealand flights to Tokyo and Argentina were forced to return to Auckland after take-off due to engineering issues. The New Zealand Herald reported passengers experienced shaking and heard “weird noises” on the flight to Tokyo.

The country’s national carrier said the engines on the 787-9 fleet require maintenance “sooner than previously advised”.

On Thursday a spokesperson for Rolls-Royce told Reuters it was working with Air New Zealand to minimise disruption, adding that it’s “not uncommon for long-term engine programmes to experience technical issues during their life”.

Japanese airline ANA and Britain’s Virgin Atlantic have also reported issues with the Rolls-Royce engines over the last 18 months.

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