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Air New Zealand will pause its Auckland – Chicago non-stop service from 31 March to 25 October 2024.

The route is being put on hold due to ongoing challenges with the availability of serviceable Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines which is impacting airlines around the world. These are the engines used on Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787 aircraft.

Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines normally require heavy maintenance, where they are taken off the aircraft and sent to the offshore manufacturer for inspection, after 1000 engine cycles (take-offs and landings).

During regular inspections, Air New Zealand engineers identified that the engines required maintenance after 750-850 cycles. Rolls-Royce has been unable to provide Air New Zealand with spare or replacement engines to deliver the level of service needed, leading to a reduction in the amount of flying Air New Zealand can deliver via its 787 fleet.

  • Auckland – Chicago service will be paused from 31 March to 25 October 2024
  • Ongoing challenges with availability of Trent 1000 engines
  • Customers will be rebooked, or can choose to receive a refund, or credit
  • Air New Zealand continues to offer up to 35 flights per week to the US and Canada

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says it was a difficult decision to make, but one that results in the least number of customers impacted.

“We know this will be disappointing for customers travelling to and from Chicago during this period, especially to those travelling over the upcoming April holiday break. It’s not a decision we’ve made lightly and we’re sorry to make this change so close to the time some customers plan to fly.

“Unfortunately, Air New Zealand continues to be impacted by challenges with availability of Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, meaning we will now have up to three aircraft unavailable for an extended period, so we’ve had to review our schedule.

“We made the tough decision to temporarily pause the Chicago route while maintaining our schedule of up to 35 flights each week to six ports across the US and Canada, so there are still plenty of options to get to Chicago, the US, and beyond.”

Customers with bookings on Air New Zealand’s Chicago services will be rebooked with a connection through another US airport to get them to their destination as quickly as possible. Customers who booked directly with Air New Zealand will receive their new itinerary within 72 hours and do not need to contact Air New Zealand. Those who booked via a travel agent should contact their agent to confirm changes to their itinerary.

Customers can opt to receive a full refund or place their booking into credit.

“Getting our customers to their destination safely is our number one priority and to do that, we need to ensure our aircraft and engines are maintained to the highest standard. These challenges do not present a safety risk to customers flying on our 787 fleet.

“We’d like to thank customers in advance for their patience and understanding as our teams work as fast as they can to make these changes.”