Passengers flying with Air New Zealand in or out of Blenheim face disruptions while engineers inspect a fleet of 18 aircraft throughout the country.
The fleet of Beech 1900D aircraft, operated by Eagle Air, was grounded this afternoon after hairline cracks were found in the tail area of an aircraft during routine maintenance inspection.
In a media statement at 4.25pm, Air New Zealand said three of the four aircraft already inspected were found to have the hairline cracks.
Three flights into Blenheim and two departing Blenheim had been cancelled today.
Three flights departing Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch due to arrive in Blenheim tonight were cancelled. A flight to Wellington sue to leave at 4.10pm was cancelled, and a flight to Christchurch at 5.40pm had also been cancelled.
Other Air New Zealand aircraft would be used to move affected customers, the statement said.
Eagle Air general manager Carrie Hurihanganui said Eagle Air services have been cancelled this afternoon as a precaution while engineers checked the Beech fleet, and alternative arrangements would be made for the about 800 affected customers.
The Beech 1900D aircraft have been in service with Eagle Air since October 2001 and have an average age of 10.5 years. The 19-seat aircraft operate to 20 destinations around New Zealand.
Customers travelling with Eagle Air are advised to check flight arrivals and departures on Air New Zealand's website airnewzealand.co.nz for the most up to date schedules.
Air Nelson Q300 services into and out of Blenheim are not affected.
- The Marlborough Express
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