Air New Zealand says around 3,500 employees will be laid off in the coming months and that even more redundancies may be required if domestic flight restrictions continue for longer than is currently forecast. The Kiwi flag carrier currently employs nearly 12,000 people worldwide.
In a leaked internal memo, chief executive Greg Foran told staffers that the Covid-19 pandemic “has seen us go from having revenue of $5.8 billion to what is shaping up to be less than $500 million annually.”
Foran warned staff that even if the crisis is brought under control in the next few months that “we expect that even in a year’s time we will be at least 30% smaller than we are today.”
New Zealand has imposed tough border restrictions and banned all but ‘essential’ workers from flying domestically. The ban has been put in place for at least 28-days but is subject to extension, at which point Foran said further lay-offs would likely follow, cautioning the current redundancies are a “conservative” estimate of what might actually be required.
“An extremely sad day for the team as we start reducing our international staff numbers,” Tweeted Air New Zealand’s chief operating officer on Tuesday. “This is never the way we wanted it to be,” Cam Wallace continued.
Wallace said that staff working in North America and Australia had just been told about the layoffs and in the UK, the airline closed its London cabin crew base six months earlier than originally planned with the loss of 130 jobs.
On Saturday, just 670 passengers travelled on Air New Zealand’s limited domestic services. A mere 1.4 per cent of passengers the airline would normally carry.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.