Rolls-Royce engine trouble forces Air New Zealand to ground flights

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In August last year, All Nippon Airways announced it would replace all 100 Rolls-Royce engines on its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners following three engine failures earlier in the year.

The first was an Air New Zealand flight headed for Narita, Japan on Tuesday morning, where the crew shut down an engine and returned to Auckland shortly after take-off.

Provided with the photos taken of the NZ99 engine after it landed back in Auckland, a spokeswoman said: "The cause of these incidents is yet to be determined and this is the role of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission".

Rolls-Royce did not have spare engines available while the maintenance work was being undertaken, Air New Zealand said in an announcement to the stock exchange.

The schedule changes are primarily affecting services to Houston, Shanghai, Buenos Aires and Perth, and the carrier says it is focused on securing replacement aircraft capacity.

An aviation source told Newsroom: "The damaged blades are in the aft section of the turbine blade sections. We finalised the schedule changes for Friday through to Sunday early [Thursday] afternoon and began the process of contacting customers".

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Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand is expected to jointly launch a third daily flight between Singapore and Auckland starting October 28, 2018.

The Trent 1000 engine has had a number of technical hitches, which the manufacturer has been working hard to resolve, with a wide range of operators in recent years.

An investigation is underway after two Air NZ Dreamliner airplanes experienced engine abnormalities this week.

During peak months, the airlines will jointly operate around 35 return services every week between Singapore and New Zealand, including Christchurch and Wellington flights.

The Air New Zealand incidents have been reported worldwide, including on the BBC and by global agency Reuters.

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