Airlines to increase Singapore-New Zealand air links

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Air New Zealand Ltd on Thursday said it would cancel and delay some global flights over the coming weeks because engines on its Boeing Co 787-9 jets manufactured by Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC required early maintenance.

Currently, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines are in a joint venture on the Singapore to Auckland route, together operating two daily services.

Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport's general manager aeronautical commercial, says the announcement is exciting news for New Zealand and will add 165,000 seats to the route and inject $136.6 million annually into the New Zealand economy.

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The new service will operate daily during the peak northern winter season from Oct 28, 2018 to March 30, 2019, and five times per week during the northern summer season from March 31, 2019 to Oct 26, 2019.

The first was an Air New Zealand flight headed for Narita, Japan on Tuesday morning, where the crew shut down an engine and returned to Auckland shortly after take-off.

Tan Kai Ping, Singapore Airlines' senior vice president, marketing planning, said: "Our alliance with Air New Zealand has already benefited customers through more capacity, choice, improved connections and more codeshare destinations". Tickets for the new Singapore-Auckland service will be made available for sale progressively through the various distribution channels from 8 December 2017.

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SIA will operate a mix of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777-300ERs, while Air New Zealand will utilise its new configuration 787-9 aircraft, offering more premium seats than its current 787-9 fleet.

Citing "two recent events", the carrier said on Thursday (7 December) that a number of Trent 1000 engines that powered its Boeing 787-9 fleet needed maintenance "sooner than previously advised" and confirmed flights would be cancelled or delayed every day for the forthcoming weeks.

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