Air New Zealand has leased two aircrafts Airbus 330 and Airbus 340 – with crew – from European company Hi Fly to help keep flights on schedule, despite problems with some of its planes’ engines. They are expected to begin operating some Auckland-Sydney and all Auckland-Perth services by next week.
Air New Zealand general manager customer experience Anita Hawthorne said the airline was working to minimise the impact on customers. “Unfortunately, around 4500 customers have been affected by international flight delays and a small number of cancellations over the past week. Once these two additional aircraft are in service we will be able to operate a near normal timetable,” she said.
Two Air New Zealand flights using its 787-9 fleet, one to Tokyo and one to Buenos Aires, had to return to Auckland Airport last week after experiencing engine problems soon after takeoff.
The two Airbus airsraft will be operated by pilots and crew from Hi Fly under the oversight of Air New Zealand. This was a much quicker path to get the aircraft into New Zealand network than going through a lengthy certification and training programme for their own people, who are not trained to operate the Airbus widebody aircraft.