Air New Zealand grounds flights after engine problems

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

The move is in response two recent incidents involving 787-9 flights and based on advice from the engine manufacturer, Air New Zealand said on Thursday.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has opened two investigations into Air New Zealand, after two of their flights were forced to turn back this week forcing the airline to accelerate maintenance and cancel flights.

Rolls-Royce did not have spare engines available while the maintenance work was being undertaken, Air New Zealand said in an announcement to the stock exchange.

Rolls-Royce told investors in August that 400 to 500 Trent 1000 engines were affected by issues with components wearing out earlier than expected, according to a conference call transcript.

And on Tuesday, the airline's flight to Tokyo Narita also returned to Auckland due to what the TAIC again said were "abnormal indications on one of the engines".

Japan's ANA Holdings Inc and Britain's Virgin Atlantic have also reported issues with the engines over the last 18 months.

Air New Zealand will be making cancellations and rescheduling some global flights due to the incidents.

"It's not uncommon for long-term engine programmes to experience technical issues during their life and we manage them through proactive maintenance", a Rolls-Royce spokeswoman said.

An investigation is underway after two Air New Zealand 787 aircraft experienced engine abnormalities in recent days.

The airline's shares were trading 1.6% higher on Thursday, compared with a 0.2% rise for the broader New Zealand market.