Cathay Pacific will take over Air New Zealand flights on the Hong Kong-Auckland route over much of summer to allow more flexibility for the Kiwi carrier as it deals with Dreamliner engine problems.

Cathay Pacific will introduce an additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft on the route from January 6 to January 19 and will also operate a Boeing 777-300ER on the same route from February 1 until March 28, 2020.

These services are additional to Cathay's summer schedule.

The airlines are commercial partners and the timing works well for both - Air NZ is looking for back-up aircraft and Cathay faces a sharp drop in demand.

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The Hong Kong carrier has just announced it will cut seat capacity by 1.4 per cent across its global network in 2020 as Hong Kong's political troubles and trade tensions hurt the airline.

Air New Zealand says customers booked to travel with it on this route during these two periods will be automatically transferred to these services for both periods.

The move allows Air New Zealand capacity flexibility in its international operations as it deals with the impact of issues with the Rolls-Royce engines on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

Air New Zealand senior manager customer care and communications Doug Grant said the airline was working hard to minimise the impact to customers over the summer months.

"This aircraft capacity will help fill the gaps in our schedule to get people to their destinations in the coming weeks and it's been beneficial to have our alliance partner Cathay Pacific step in and assist us at this busy time."

The Cathay Pacific operated services will depart Auckland at 11.45am in January (11.40am in February and March), arriving in Hong Kong at 6.00pm. The flight from Hong Kong will depart at 6.25pm, arriving in Auckland at 10:25am in January (10.20am in February and March) local time.

Air New Zealand will directly contact customers affected by these changes in the coming week. Customers booked via a travel agent (including online travel agents) will be contacted by their booking agent.

Air New Zealand aircraft will operate the Hong Kong-Auckland route between January 20 and January 31.

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The airline announced last month it will be making some international changes to its schedule as a result of issues impacting some of its Rolls-Royce engines.

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This includes the suspension of its twice-weekly seasonal Christchurch-Perth service, cancelling its second daily Auckland-Perth service from December 10, 2019 until January 5 and 20 other international cancellations from December 10 to January 2.

Cathay Pacific will fill in for Air NZ to Hong Kong for much of summer. Photo / Supplied
Cathay Pacific will fill in for Air NZ to Hong Kong for much of summer. Photo / Supplied

Rolls-Royce requires operators of its Trent 1000 TEN model engines to carry out more frequent maintenance due to an issue with the engine's high-pressure turbine blades.

Rolls-Royce does not have any replacement engines available while maintenance work is undertaken and has advised Air New Zealand there is a significant wait for repair services.

 Technicians check a Rolls-Royce Trent engine. Photo / Supplied
Technicians check a Rolls-Royce Trent engine. Photo / Supplied

Air New Zealand has also retained a leased Eva Air 777 over summer to give it more flexibility.

The Cathay A350 has 280 seats in business, premium economy and economy. The Cathay 777 has 294 seats and the same range of seating. Both aircraft are powered by different engines to the ones under scrutiny on some Dreamliners around the world.

Air New Zealand aircraft will operate the Hong Kong-Auckland route between January 20 and January 31.