Air New Zealand warns of operations impact from Pratt & Whitney engine issue

FILE PHOTO: An Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner plane taxis at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago

(Reuters) -Air New Zealand said on Tuesday that a change in the servicing schedule of RTX's Pratt & Whitney engines could significantly impact the airline's services for up to two years.

The carrier in October had flagged a nominal financial impact in the first half of 2024 related to the engine issue.

Pratt & Whitney said in July more than 1,000 engines must be removed from Airbus planes and checked for microscopic cracks.

Air New Zealand warned in September the engine inspections would have a "significant" impact on its flight schedule from next year.

The airline said on Tuesday it would pause flights connecting Auckland and Hobart from April 5 next year. It also plans a "service pause" for flights between Auckland and Seoul from the beginning of April.

Air New Zealand added it will have to ground up to four aircraft at any one time due to the engine maintenance issues.

The carrier said it will look at leasing additional aircraft, with the airline's latest leased 777-367ER aircraft about to enter service.

"The company is also managing other supply chain issues which airlines globally are facing as it looks to put additional fleet cover in place," Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said.

The airline has 17 A320/321neo jets in its fleet of 108 aircraft, servicing Australia and the Pacific Island markets and the domestic market in New Zealand.

Air New Zealand's shares fell as much as 1.5% to NZ$0.67.

(Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru)