New Zealand’s Mount Cook Airlines says it will be able to move most of its scheduled passengers on Tuesday as planes grounded for safety checks on Sunday gradually come back in commission.
The airline’s entire fleet of 11 ATR72-500 aircraft were grounded, causing delays for thousands of travellers on regional routes, when hairline cracks were discovered around the cockpit windows of one aircraft.
Two of the ATRs went back into service on Monday and another two returned to service on Tuesday.
Combined with the addition of larger planes on the network, this meant fewer than 50 of the 4000 scheduled passengers would be unable to get to their destinations on Tuesday, general manager Sarah Williamson said.
The ATR planes fly to 10 destinations around New Zealand. They have serviced Mount Cook Airlines since 1999 and have an average age of about 11 years.
Three of the ATR aircraft were found to require further work around the cockpit windows, which is expected to be completed by Sunday.