Star Alliance member Air New Zealand has revealed updates to its capacity and network this summer, with the confirmed return of two routes, an extended pause on another, and additional capacity into other markets.

The airline will return to Hobart and Seoul in October 2024 after both were paused over the New Zealand winter period.

Both the Auckland to Hobart and Auckland to Seoul routes will be seasonal services, with Air New Zealand operating three flights a week to each destination over the southern hemisphere summer months from October through March.

The carrier will also be expanding its capacity on key Asian routes, with Singapore, Tokyo, and Taipei all seeing increases in seat numbers between November 2024 and March 2025 as a result of the introduction of Air New Zealand’s larger Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on these routes.

The increase results in a higher proportion of premium seats compared to the 787-9s that are currently deployed on these routes.

While Air New Zealand is returning to routes and increasing some capacity, aircraft availability limitations due to ongoing engine challenges mean it has had to extend the pause to its Chicago service which was due to resume from October 2024.

Air New Zealand general manager long-haul, Scott Carr, says it was a tough decision, but one that meant the airline could return to key destinations on its network and assure customers’ travel plans on other routes.

“Unfortunately, ongoing challenges with the availability of Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines on our 787-9 aircraft means we haven’t been able to return to our Chicago route in October as expected. We anticipate returning to Chicago when we receive our new 787 aircraft from Boeing, currently expected in the second half of 2025.

Over the next few days, our teams will be in touch directly with customers who have bookings on our Chicago route from October to share their options, so they do not need to contact us proactively. Those who booked via a travel agent should contact their agent to confirm changes to their itinerary.”

Air New Zealand says it will be offering affected passengers to Chicago one-stop options via another US airport.