Cracks in Air New Zealand ATR planes

Better safe than sorry, as Air new Zealand grounds the provincial air fleet for checks:

Air New Zealand passengers are expected to face more travel disruption tomorrow as the airline checks its fleet of ATR aircraft after hairline cracks were discovering on one of the planes.

The airline today cancelled the majority of ATR services operated by subsidiary Mount Cook Airlines after hairline cracks were found in the area around windows of the cockpit in one aircraft during routine overnight maintenance in Christchurch.

About 60 one-way services were cancelled today, affecting around 3000 customers.

Two ATR planes have already been returned to service on the airline’s Christchurch-Rotorua and Auckland-Palmerston North routes, Radio New Zealand reported.

Mount Cook Airline general manager Sarah Williamson said the airline would operate about two thirds of its normal seat capacity tomorrow with three of its 11 ATR planes in service and additional flights from other aircraft in the Air New Zealand fleet.

The airline expected to introduce more aircraft back into service later on Monday, she said.


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  • Gazzaw

    Good job by the national carrier. Routine check turns up a potential problem. No procrastination, no concern about potential revenue loss & the total ATR fleet is grounded immediately. This is what makes Air NZ a top carrier.

    I will go back to my old gripe about the media and in particular TV One News. They turned this into the major news item last night with major non-qualifying headlines such as ‘Air New Zealand grounds entire fleet disrupting thousands of passengers’. Equally they could have said ‘Routine check by Air NZ turns up potential fault. Temporary grounding ordered while aircraft checked.’ But then that wouldn’t have been alarmist enough.

    • Salacious T Crumb

      A good point Gazzaw. It shows the difference between reporting news and creating headlines to sell advertising.

    •  Should have seen TV3’s coverage – they included a wallpaper of some other bloody aircraft than the ones that were being grounded just ‘cos they had the Mount Cook Logo on them….totally weird man!!

  • thor42

    I’m glad that the cracks were around the cockpit windows rather than the wings…..

    • hoha

      I would think the delayed passengers would have been glad aswell

  • Grandstream

    This sort of rasies the next issue of which Union has been very quiet since the EY report of what the MUNZ guys earn……Air NZ bagage handlers earn once allowances etc are paid over $100K per annum.  This is another bastion of Union bullying which will no doubt be exposed as the Govt stake in Air NZ drops……

  • jay cee

    yep the government has already had a hand in this little drama sacking some 600 maintenance staff. anyone else see a corelation here?

    • Swifty

      Jay Cee – there is no correlation and no-one, least of all the Labour Govt at the time,  sacked 600 maintenance staff.

    • Gazzaw

      Dates & detail please jay cee.