DALLAS — Air New Zealand (NZ) has said Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engine issues, which it expects to last into 2025, may cause the airline to ground two to four aircraft at any one time. The Auckland-based airline will suspend service on two international routes to ensure it can serve the remainder of its schedules.
In July, P&W announced that a powder metal defect could lead to the cracking of some engine components in its geared turbofan engines for the A320neo aircraft. P&W called for accelerated inspections of the engines and shop visits globally.
In an advisory published on September 11, P&W expanded the number of PW1100 GTF engines needing inspection. When it first disclosed the metal contamination issue in the Pratt & Whitney-manufactured engines in late July, RTX Corporation, the owner of Pratt & Whitney, estimated around 1,200 motors would require inspection.
That number has now grown to approximately 3,000, or over 90% of the 3,200 GTF (high-bypass geared turbofan) engines presently in service.
Air New Zealand’s fleet of 108 aircraft includes six Airbus A320-200Ns and 11 A321-200NXs. Other supply chain issues Air New Zealand is experiencing are compounding the problem.
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said a leased Boeing 767-300ER is about to enter service, and New Zealand’s flagship carrier is considering other lease options. At the same time, the airline will suspend flights to Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Hobart International (HBA) in April 2024. The pause will allow more resiliency when the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines that power the carrier’s Boeing 787-9 fleet go for regular maintenance.
Both routes have performed well, but Foran expects the suspension of service will allow the airline to ensure it can deliver reliable service across the rest of our network.
New aircraft deliveries may help mitigate some of the delays caused by the P&W…
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