6 Jan 2009

Air Force passenger jet back in service

5:33 am on 6 January 2009

One of the Royal New Zealand Air Force passenger jets is back in service after a stint of secondary maintenance in the United States.

Prime Minister John Key last month said it was unacceptable to have both of the Air Force's Boeing 757s out of service at the same time.

He wanted to deploy one of them to Thailand in early December to evacuate New Zealanders caught in political unrest. But one of the aircraft was in Alabama for 20 days undergoing maintenance, having just returned to New Zealand following a 16-month revamp.

The other plane remains in the United States, where it has been for the past year, undergoing a revamp.

Squadron Leader Glenn Davis says one of the 757s returned to New Zealand on 21 December and the other will be back in service at the end of January.