Air New Zealand has cancelled 90 regional flights today and rescheduled others after yesterday grounding most of its Beech 1900D fleet after hairline cracks were found in the tails.
About 500 passengers would be delayed by more than two hours or would be put on buses to their destinations, the airline said.
Flights to Wanganui, Kaitaia, Bay of Islands, Whakatane, Rotorua, Whangarei, Taupo, Masterton, Blenheim and Gisborne were among those affected.
The airline is using other aircraft to move affected passengers, with about two thirds travelling close to their scheduled time.
The 1900Ds are operated by Air New Zealand's Eagle Air subsidiary.
The airline said passengers booked on 1900D flights, with NZ2000 series flight numbers, had the option up till August 14, of switching to another Air New Zealand flight, receive a credit for a future flight or a full refund.
All but four of the fleet of 18 regional planes were found to have cracks near the top of the tail.
Air New Zealand spokeswoman Marie Hosking said the airline was seeking advice from the plane's United States manufacturer Raytheon on what action, if any, was needed to return the grounded planes to service.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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