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Air New Zealand to suspend Hobart flights next year

written by Jake Nelson | November 7, 2023

Air New Zealand will pause flights to Hobart from April due to changes in the maintenance plan for Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan (GTF) engines.

The airline will not fly between Auckland and Hobart from 5 April to allow for necessary maintenance on the engines powering its A320neo and A321neo aircraft, which is needed due to a “rare condition” involving the powder metal used for certain parts.

Flights from Auckland to Seoul will also be paused from 1 April to allow for more resiliency when the engines on Air New Zealand’s 787 fleet require regular maintenance.

“Air New Zealand has 17 A320/321neo aircraft in its fleet of 108 aircraft, serving Australia, the Pacific Islands and domestic New Zealand. While this maintenance issue does not present a safety issue, it has caused Air New Zealand to revise its flight schedule as a result of adjustments made to the engine maintenance plan,” said Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran.


“While both routes have performed well, we need to ensure we can deliver a reliable service across the rest of our network and get customers on our most in-demand routes to where they need to be. Customers will still be able to book to Hobart and Seoul with Air New Zealand, but these flights won’t be direct and will be partly operated by our partner airlines.”

Up to 700 GTF engines are expected to be affected by the issue over the next three years, with the strongest impact in the coming year. Air New Zealand expects to have up to four aircraft grounded at any one time.

“Leasing additional aircraft is an option we are looking at closely. Our latest leased Boeing 777-367ER aircraft is about to enter service and we are considering other lease options,” said Foran.

“The aviation industry is complex and it’s a difficult time in the aviation eco-system. We appreciate these changes will disappoint some of our customers, for which we apologise.

“It’s not the news we hoped for given our announcement earlier this year that we had purchased new aircraft to add capacity and assist in meeting ongoing strong demand.”

Two new ATRs are expected at Air New Zealand in late 2024 to early 2025, as well as two new A321neos in early 2025, and two domestic A321s and eight 787s between 2024 to 2027.

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