Air New Zealand Suspends Chicago Flights

Air New Zealand has announced it will suspend service to Chicago for up to seven months as it battles engine maintenance on the 787.

Air New Zealand has temporarily announced the suspension of service from Auckland towards Chicago in the United States.

Ultimately, a move that comes only weeks after Air New Zealand cited ongoing competition from U.S. airlines as a reason it would see weaker financial results.

The service pause will occur from March 31 through October 25. Air New Zealand says it’s being forced to suspend the route because of persistent Rolls Royce Trent 1000 availability problems.

The Boeing 787 operates service between Auckland and Chicago, but the airline will be unable to operate the flight due to the heavy maintenance checks that will take place.

In a statement, the airline engineers identified that these engines require essential maintenance after 750 to 850 cycles. Therefore, the engines are removed from the aircraft and sent offshore.

Long-lasting engine issues have plagued airlines worldwide, including Air New Zealand, which, in the late 2010s, was forced to lease aircraft and ground 787s. Next, the Pratt & Whitney engine crisis would hurt its Airbus narrowbody fleet.

For those now set to be impacted by the cancellation, the airline assures that customers will have alternative travel across the multi-month period where the flight won’t be operated.

Air New Zealand had previously warned of potential network cancellations in future years as it battled engine difficulties with several leading aircraft types.

While the carrier attempted to make the changes as subtle as possible, suspending a landmark route such as Chicago made headlines globally and highlighted the effects on the airline.

Daniel Fowkes
16 Mar 2024
· Airlines 
· Routes 

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  1. Turns out they’re canceling this service already. They canceled my 24 March trip without notice. That’s been a mess.

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