Air NZ flights cancelled for second day

Most people booked to fly on Air New Zealand's ATR fleet today will be able to travel, the airline says, despite flights showing as cancelled at Dunedin International Airport today.

In Dunedin, six arrivals and six departures have been cancelled today, while in Queenstown one departure has been cancelled. Additional jet services are being used to minimise the impact on passengers. For latest information click here

Air New Zealand's 11-strong ATR72-500 fleet, operated by Mount Cook Airlines, was grounded for safety inspections on Sunday, after hairline cracks were found around the cockpit windows of one aircraft.

About 60 one-way services were cancelled on Sunday, affecting about 3000 customers, and a further 2000 customers were affected by cancellations yesterday.

Additional jet services were brought in to minimise the effect on customers.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said five arrivals and six departures were cancelled in Dunedin yesterday.

"However, four of those sectors were operated by Air New Zealand 737 jet aircraft, which carry double the number of passengers as an ATR.

"As a result, the total seat capacity into and out of Dunedin today was reduced by about 200," she said.

Queenstown Airport duty manager Naoto Unno said five departures and six arrivals were cancelled yesterday.

The 350 passengers affected by outgoing cancellations were transferred to Christchurch on two A320 flights in the afternoon.

Mount Cook Airline general manager Sarah Williamson said one of the 68-seat aircraft was back in service on Sunday and a second returned to the skies yesterday.

Three more ATRs would be brought back into service today, with two more joining them on Thursday. Three others would not be ready until Sunday and the final aircraft was undergoing planned maintenance, Ms Williamson said.

Those back in service, combined with extra planes from Air NZ, meant most passengers booked to fly on Mount Cook flights today would be able to travel, she said.

Mount Cook Airlines transports about 4000 passengers per average day, and expects to be able to fly 97% of booked passengers to their destinations today. However, there will be changes to the timing of some flights.


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