Air New Zealand has been forced to ground flights because of an on-going problem with the Rolls-Royce engines which are fitted in its fleet of Boeing 787-9 aircraft.  Around 14,000 passengers may be affected by flight cancellations which will be taking place between December 10th and January 2nd.

With cancellations of more than 80 international flights, Air New Zealand has said on their website: ‘Customers impacted by these scheduled or aircraft changes will be contacted directly by Air New Zealand in the coming days, via the contact information provided in their booking, or the travel agent they booked through’.

The airline does not currently have any replacement engines and it’s expected that there will be a significant wait for repairs. Other airlines could also be affected by the engine complications and are expected to incur losses.

If you are due to travel you should check the Air New Zealand website for information regarding flights and updates. The airline will be responsible for providing you with either a full refund or an alternative flight. You should also contact your hotel or accommodation provider to find out more about your options if you need to cancel or change the dates of your stay.

If you booked a package holiday, your travel agent or tour operator will be responsible for providing you with alternative flights and accommodation, or providing you with a full refund.

With regards to claiming on your travel insurance, most policies are restrictive with the reason for cancellation however, there are some more lenient policies available. Provided that you bought the policy before the event occurred, Cancellation for Any Cause may provide cover for pre-paid expenses in the event that you can no longer travel for reasons beyond your control.

You may also be able to claim for Trip Disruption if your flight is delayed or cancelled by more than 24 hours and your airline has not offered you any alternatives.

As the situation is still uncertain, make sure to check the Air New Zealand website for regular updates.