Air New Zealand axes more than 900 cabin crew

Air New Zealand is set to axe more than 900 international cabin crew as border restrictions continue to put pressure on the business.

This comes after a consultation period in September that saw the company proposing to make around 385 more cabin crew redundant by December.

Stuff reports that the company has also decided to wind up a furlough arrangement in place with 550 international cabin crew who have not worked since September.

This tough period has seen the airline cut staff across the business.

The national carrier has already had more than 4000 staff leave since Covid-19 restrictions took hold in March.

Union E tū previously has hit out at the decision to make more cuts at Air New Zealand, calling on the airline to halt outsourcing.

E tū head of aviation, Savage, said there is no operational reason for Air New Zealand to retain a crew base in Shanghai.

“When the work comes back, it needs to come back to Auckland-based cabin crew.

“For the company to focus on immediate labour costs, without taking into account the bigger picture, is short-sighted and damaging to all aviation workers.”

Savage said the airline and the jobs it provides are a vital piece of New Zealand’s infrastructure.

Air New Zealand reported an underlying loss of $87 million for the 2020 financial year, compared to earnings of $387m last year.

Covid-19 has wiped out its first-half result and statutory losses before taxation, which include $541m of other significant items, were $628m, compared to earnings of $382m last year.

The after-tax loss was $454m.

The airline has benefited from wage subsidy payments of $75m to the end of June and a further $40m since then. It has been paid $21m from the Government’s freight subsidy scheme which runs to the end of the year and has supported more than 250 charters.

– More to follow

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