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Air New Zealand to Make Nearly 1,500 Cabin Crew Redundant

Air New Zealand to Make Nearly 1,500 Cabin Crew Redundant

Photo Credit: Air New Zealand

In an internal memo, Air New Zealand told its cabin crew that as many as 1460 of them will be made redundant in the coming weeks as the carrier faces up to the reality that travel demand is unlikely to recover for many months. The confirmed job losses comes just two weeks after Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran warned that a third of the airline’s 12,000 employees could be laid off because of the Coronavirus crisis.

The 1460 cabin crew roles will be lost in the following areas:

  • 300 Airbus A320 cabin crew
  • 950 widebody-trained cabin crew who operate Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliners
  • 210 Turboprop cabin crew across the airline’s fleet of ATR and Q300 

The Kiwi aviation union E tū, however, criticised what it saw as a rushed move to lay off cabin crew before New Zealand had even come out of a strict country-wide lockdown.

“The company’s plan to lay off thousands of people while the country is still in lockdown is the wrong move. It’s too rushed and it doesn’t need to be. That is not what fair consultation looks like and is very disappointing to see a once-proud company get it so wrong,” explained Savage, E tū’s lead spokesperson.

“The wage subsidy, Air New Zealand’s cash reserves, and the government loan means we have the time to properly work through a process and look to the future,” he continued.

“They risk destroying the very organisation they are trying to save.”

The New Zealand government has granted a $900 million loan facility to see the airline through the crisis and has backed workers wages to keep them in employment.

Earlier this week, Air New Zealand confirmed that up to 400 pilots would be made redundant and has already brought forward the closure of its London cabin crew base with the loss of 130 jobs. Around 3,500 jobs may be lost in total if Air New Zealand goes ahead with its plans.

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