NZ Post and Freightways are entering a second day of delivery delays caused by aircraft issues at their joint venture Pacrcelair - but the pair say a chartered aircraft from Sydney, due to go into service tonight, will help fix the problem.
Parcelair ordinarily operates three Boeing 737-400F aircraft, but two are currently grounded for airframe checks.
Freightways chief executive Mark Troughear told the Herald that it was scheduled maintenance, but with Parcelair only having limited control over the exact timing - beyond that it wanted it to happen in winter, traditionally a slower time for parcels.
"Ideally only one aircraft would be grounded at once but Ideally not have two of them checked at the same time, but you have to operate to their [Boeing's] timings," he said.
Troughgear said one of the grounded 737s should be out of maintenance late next week, and the other the week after.
Yesterday, NZ Post told customers, via a message buried on its website, "We regret to advise that we are currently experiencing widespread delays across our network. This is due to aircraft engineering issues, which has significantly impacted the amount of freight we are able to transport by air.
"Customers may experience delays of an additional one-two days outside of our standard delivery targets."
But today, that seemed a worst-case scenario, with a spokewoman updating, "We're still able to deliver within our standard delivery targets, except for a few remote areas of the country."
Troughgear said the chartered aircraft - a BAE 146-200QC - would be able to carry 11 tonnes of freight or about six tonnes less than the 737s in Parcelair's usual fleet.
A small aircraft - a Convair 580 turbo-prop leased from Air Chathams plus extra trucks and vans were also being used to help plug the gap.
Troughgear aid in Freightways case, delays were "a few hours" rather than NZ Post's one to two days.
A fourth 737 is due to be added to Parcelair's fleet in October.