Air New Zealand has flagged “ongoing challenges” with the reliability and availability of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines powering its Boeing 787 fleet, adding to existing engine issues it is already facing on its narrowbody fleet. 

The airline says it will suspend operations to Chicago between 31 March and 25 October, owing to the lack of spare engines. It currently flies thrice a week between the two cities. 


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This is on top of an earlier-disclosed suspension of flights to Seoul Incheon from 1 April, which it also blames on the Trent engine issues. 

The airline discloses that the Trent engines require maintenance more frequently than before as a result of the reliability issues. A lack of available spares further compounds the issue, leading the airline to ground up to three 787s at any one time “for an extended period”, and forcing a schedule review. 

The airline says R-R “has been unable” to provide it with spares or replacement engines to “deliver the level of service needed”. 

Air New Zealand’s chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty adds that cancelling flights to Chicago “results in the least number of customers impacted”. The airline will continue to operate other flights to its North American network, flying up to 35 times a week to cities such as Los Angeles and Vancouver. 

The airline has also been impacted by issues surrounding the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines, which power its fleet of Airbus A320neo-family aircraft. 

In November 2023, the airline estimates that up to four of its 17 PW1100G-powered jets will be grounded amid a lack of spare engines. Air New Zealand also has had to cut flights to Hobart in Australia as a result of the PW1100G issue. 

Ongoing engine woes were among the reasons the airline issued a bleak prognosis for its earnings in the six months ending June 2024. It warned that its second-half financial performance will be “markedly lower” than the first six months, and expects to take a temporary financial cost of NZ$35 million ($21.6 million) in the second half to counter these engine maintenance issues, together with wider supply chain and inflationary impacts.