Air New Zealand Suspends Chicago Route Due to Engine Availability

by Anthony Losanno
Air New Zealand Plane

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Star Alliance carrier, Air New Zealand, announced this week that it will be suspending its Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to/from Auckland Airport (AUK) from March 31st through October 25th. This is due to ongoing availability challenges for serviceable Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, which power its Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

This route originated in November 2018 and ran through March 2020. It was then paused due to the pandemic and restarted in October 2022. Air New Zealand will continue to fly to five destinations in the United States. These include:

  • Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  • Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • New York John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

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Leanne Geraghty, Chief Customer and Sales Officer at Air New Zealand, said:

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 U.S. and Canada, so there are still plenty of options to get to Chicago, the U.S. and beyond.”

According to Air New Zealand, Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines require heavy maintenance. They are removed from the aircraft and sent to the manufacturer after every 1,000 engine cycles (takeoffs and landings). During recent inspections, Air New Zealand determined that these engines need maintenance after 750 to 800 cycles. In order to accomplish this, the planes need to be taken out of service more frequently.

Customers booked on Air New Zealand’s Chicago route will be automatically rebooked. If they do not wish to rebook with a connection, Air New Zealand is offering refunds.

Anthony’s Take: This flight has long been on my list of routes that I wanted to fly. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is my home base during much of the year and I hope it returns as planned.

(Featured Image Credit: Will Waters.)

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