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Air NZ wet-leases Hi Fly aircraft to cover 787 maintenance

Air New Zealand is wet-leasing an Airbus A330 and an A340 from Portuguese carrier Hi Fly to cover a shortfall in capacity caused by unexpected maintenance on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines that power its Boeing 787-9 fleet.

The Star Alliance carrier says that the two jets will start operating some Auckland-Sydney and all Auckland-Perth services by the week beginning 18 December.

Last week the airline announced a series of changes to its schedule over the coming weeks to cover the maintenance required on the Trent 1000 engines, which followed two incidents that required 787-9s to return to Auckland on 5 and 6 December.

“Once these two additional aircraft are in service we will be able to operate a near normal timetable,” says the airline’s general manager customer experience Anita Hawthorne.

After the incidents, Rolls-Royce advised that maintenance on the engines would have to be brought forward, and a global shortage of spare engines meant that the airline was forced to ground a number of the jets.

Virgin Atlantic has also been affected by issues with the Trent 1000 engines on its 787-9s, and is reportedly leasing additional A330s while it undergoes similar maintenance work on its fleet.

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