Air New Zealand Dreamliner engine problems cause cancellations

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Air New Zealand is cancelling some flights and retiming others due to maintenance requirements on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines that power its Boeing 787-9 fleet.

Under their joint venture alliance established in January 2015, both airlines will continue to operate one daily return services each on the Singapore-Auckland route, with a third service operated by SIA during the winter season and by Air New Zealand in the summer season.

Media reports suggested passengers felt the aircraft shake and the electrical power was lost in the cabin for a moment amid some loud noises. The British engine maker had previously cautioned that 400 to 500 Trent 1000 engines were affected by issues with components wearing out earlier than expected. The problems come after a year ago All Nippon Airways (ANA), found a problem with the group's engines in its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. News of the replacement, however, was seen as a major blow for the carrier, which is the world's largest operator of 787s, as the process can take up to three years.

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Air New Zealand chief operations integrity and standards officer David Morgan told the NZ Herald the the blades failed on the flight to Tokyo Narita, while exhaust gas temperature rises indicated problems with the engine.

A flight to Japan had to turn back on Tuesday and yesterday a flight from Auckland to Buenos Aires had to return to Auckland International Airport.

"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 was quoted as saying by Reuters.