Air New Zealand subsidiary Eagle Air has resumed limited operations after grounding its fleet of 18 Beech 1900D turboprops yesterday over hairline cracks discovered in the tails of at least three of the aircraft.
Eagle Air said it would put four of the planes back in service today after they were inspected and cleared to fly. Other aircraft from Air New Zealand’s fleet will assist in picking up stranded passengers. Some 1000 customers were affected by yesterday’s cancellations.
Eagle Air said it discovered the cracks in the tail of one of the aircraft during routine maintenance, leading it to ground the entire fleet for checks. In a statement yesterday, the carrier said it had inspected four of the planes and found cracks in three of them. Eagle Air said it was in touch with Beechcraft over the issue.
Eagle Air’s 1900Ds have been in service with the carrier since 2001 and have an average age of 10.5 years. The 19-seat aircraft flies to 20 destinations around New Zealand.