Air New Zealand has temporarily leased a Boeing 737-300 aircraft from Air Malta to fulfil the shortfall in capacity due to the engine failure incident out of Brisbane last December. The incident grounded the airline`s Boeing 767-200 aircraft which remains in Brisbane awaiting the arrival of replacement parts and completion of repairs. It is not expected to return to service until April 2003.
The leased aircraft will continue to fly with Air Malta livery and will be operated on Air New Zealand`s Auckland-Christchurch-Auckland services. The lease term is from 26 January to 10 April 2003 with the first flights commencing this week.
The Boeing aircraft will operate under the NZ Civil Aviation Authority Foreign Operators Approval.
Air Malta representatives have been working closely with Air New Zealand to ensure all necessary procedures are in place.
The aircraft will be flown by Air Malta pilots but with Air New Zealand cabin crew on board. Ground handling and maintenance will be undertaken by Air New Zealand employees.
The Air Malta aircraft has a 144 seat configuration compared with the 136 seat capacity of Air New Zealand`s Boeing 737 ExpressClass service.