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  • Joe Breitfeller

Air New Zealand Partners With Cathay Pacific to Maintain International Summer Schedule

Air New Zealand announced Thursday that they have teamed up with alliance partner Cathay Pacific, adding capacity to their summer schedule. The airline previously announced schedule changes due to ongoing engine maintenance issues.

Air New Zealand B787-10 Dreamliner - Courtsey Boeing

Yesterday, Air New Zealand announced that they have added capacity to maintain their international summer schedule through an arrangement with alliance partner Cathay Pacific. In November, the airline announced schedule changes related to ongoing engine maintenance issues with the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 TEN Engines that power their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The arrangement couldn’t make more sense, with Cathay Pacific over capacity due to ongoing civil unrest in Hong Kong and Air New Zealand under capacity, while both airlines offer a compatible world-class product.

As part of the arrangement, Cathay Pacific will take over most of the operations of the Hong Kong-Auckland return service over the next three months. Cathay Pacific will add an Airbus A350-900 on the route between January 6 and January 19, 2020. The aircraft can accommodate 280 customers with a Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class configuration. Starting February 1st, Cathay Pacific will also add a Boeing 777-300ER which will operate until March 28, 2020. The similarly configured aircraft can accommodate 294 passengers and will operate daily in February and five times a week in March. Passengers booked on Air New Zealand during this period will automatically be transferred to the alternate service. In Thursday’s announcement, Air New Zealand’s Senior Manager Customer Care & Communications, Doug Grant said,

“The Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 777-300ER are modern aircraft of a similar high standard to our Air New Zealand fleet, so we know our customers will receive the high level of service Cathay Pacific is known for. This aircraft capacity will help fill the gaps in our schedule to get people to their destinations in the coming weeks and it’s been beneficial to have our alliance partner Cathay Pacific step in and assist us at this busy time.”

Due to issues with the high pressure turbine blades on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 TEN engines that power Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-900 fleet, Rolls-Royce is requiring more frequent inspections. Since replacement engines aren’t currently available, the aircraft must be taken out of service for maintenance. Regrettably, there is a backlog and significant wait time for repair services which has disrupted operator schedules.

Source: Air New Zealand

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