Australia’s Jetstar has grounded several Boeing 787s following a series of technical issues, a move which has led to cancellations across its medium-haul network.
The airline in a statement says its 787 fleet “has been impacted by a number of issues”. These include lightning strikes, a bird strike, as well as foreign object damage.
There have also been delays in sourcing “a specific spare part” for one aircraft because of global supply chain issues. “The part has to be road freighted across the US,” the low-cost unit of flag carrier Qantas adds.
According to Cirium fleets data, Jetstar has a fleet of 11 787-8s, with one example in storage. The GEnx-powered jets are aged between seven and nine years old.
A check on flight tracking site FlightRadar24 shows at least five examples not in service, some of which have stopped flying for more than a week. The 787s are mainly deployed on flights to Denpasar in Indonesia, Honolulu, as well as to points in Japan.
The airline has cancelled eight return services between Denpasar and Melbourne and Sydney since 1 September and is “managing a number of delays, some up to 24 hours”.
“Our teams are working hard to get passengers on their way as soon as possible – we are putting on five special services to bring people home and booking seats on Qantas flights also,” says Jetstar.
The latest development adds to parent company Qantas’ mounting operational headaches as travel demand returns. In recent months, the airline group was plagued by issues such as missing baggage, flight delays and cancellations, as well as the looming threat of industrial action.
At the airline’s recent full-year results, airline chief Alan Joyce apologised for the airline’s shortcomings, blaming much of the airline group’s operational woes to the Covid-19 pandemic and staff shortfall.