Global Rolls-Royce engine issue

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 21, 2018

Today, Air New Zealand said that following checks, two of its Dreamliners would be out of action while their engines were removed to be sent for maintenance in Singapore.

Earlier this week Air New Zealand rescheduled a number of services and cancelled a small number of services this week and next.

Earlier this month, European aviation regulator EASA ordered airlines to carry out earlier than usual maintenance checks on a specific part of the Trent 1000 engine compressor.

"As a result of the checks two Air New Zealand 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft will be temporarily removed from service while engines undergo maintenance work at a Rolls-Royce facility in Singapore", the airline said in a statement on Saturday morning.

The airline confirmed the December turnarounds were due to the planes' Rolls-Royce engines, but unlike the current issues which relate to the engine's compressor, which is near the front of the engine, the problems stemmed from the high pressure turbine near the back of the engine.

Around 340 engines globally are subject to the checks and this is placing very high demand on Rolls-Royce's maintenance facility meaning it may take a number of months before Air New Zealand's engine fix work can be completed.

Air New Zealand says it will have make changes to flight times and operating aircraft on certain routes "in order to avoid further flight cancellations to the extent that is possible".

Air NZ undertook the engine checks after problems with the Package C engines prompted EASA and Rolls to reduce the number landing and take-off cycles between inspections.

It said options to counter the loss of the aircraft would include re-introducing charter services operated European carrier Hi Fly next month.

The vibration caused by this could result in cumulative fatigue damage that could cause blade failure and engine shutdown, it said.

Air New Zealand Chief operational integrity and standards officer David Morgan said the airline was fully compliant with the directives of EASA, the FAA and Rolls-Royce.

It said with high demand at the facility it may take months for the fix work to be done.

"Like Air New Zealand, aviation regulators prioritise safety over everything else and EASA and FAA have taken a very conservative approach in the checks and restrictions they've put in place around these engines".

It affected around 380 of the twin-engined aircraft around the world.

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