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Thousands affected by Air NZ flight cancellations after engine issues

The airline is carrying out a number of urgent engine checks.

Thousands of Kiwis are expected to be impacted by Air New Zealand flight cancellations and rescheduling until the middle of next week.

The airline said it has to carry out a number of urgent checks on some of its aircraft after a global issue with parts from engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce.

The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines the airline uses in its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet have been plagued with problems since last year.

Around 6,500 passengers were expected to be affected by flight cancellations and delays, the airline said.

One of those impacted is Auckland woman Halima Nati, who is getting married in Bali this weekend.

She and some of her immediate family flew out from Auckland earlier in the week but over 30 of her guests, including family members, were unable to fly out today due to the cancellation of their flight to Bali.

The bride-to-be’s mother, Nisha Clark, said Air New Zealand’s customer service was “non-existent” after passengers were told they would not be flying.

The affected passengers were told to ring Air NZ, and after an hour on hold they were told they would have to rebook their flights but only eight business class seats were available.

“These passengers are all struggling income earners and have had to use their spending money to get to Bali,” said Mrs Clark.

The bride’s grandfather – who is in a wheelchair – managed to get on a flight with Virgin.

“My daughter is in tears and so upset. You [Air NZ] have truly turned a wonderful occasion into a living nightmare all through your lack of customer service.”

“I am extremely angry and sad for my daughter.”

Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne said the airline is doing all it can to minimise the impact of the checks on its customers.

“This is a particularly busy time on our network and we are conscious many Kiwis are heading away for the school holidays. We sincerely apologise for any disruption to our customers’ travel plans and we thank them for their patience.

“Although the requirement for engine checks is outside of our control we are doing all we can to reduce any impact, by making changes to our schedule to allow us to keep cancellations to a minimum.”

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