Why some Air NZ flights to Asia have to stop on the way for fuel

Underneath airliner.
Some flights needing fuel stops on way to Asia. Photo credit: Getty Images

New restrictions placed on Dreamliners with Trent 1000 engines mean some Air NZ flights leaving New Zealand for Asia must make stopovers on the way to top up on fuel.

A ruling from the FAA means the Boeing 787 Dreamliners have a reduced maximum take-off weight.

Rather than offloading passengers or cargo, Air NZ is opting instead for its aircraft to take off with less fuel and make stops on the way to top up the tanks when flying to destinations including Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing.

New restrictions has meant stopovers for some flights.
New restrictions has meant stopovers for some flights. Photo credit: Newshub.

Flights to Houston and Los Angeles may be rescheduled due to wider changes across the network.

Air NZ flights over the weekend to Asian destinations made fuel stops at Sydney, Cairns, Darwin and Guam.

Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer David Morgan says weather conditions can also play a part in how far the aircraft can fly with the fuel that it has onboard.

"The fuel stops take around an hour to complete and passengers must remain on board. Where possible, the operating pilots will increase speed to make up time to achieve an arrival time at destination as close to schedule as possible."

Although the number of passengers involved may seem high, these changes will only affect three percent of all customers travelling with Air NZ this week.