An Air New Zealand flight attendant has paid an emotional tribute to his colleagues as they spent their last flight together before being laid off by the airline. Air New Zealand flight NZ80 was returning to Auckland from the Philippines via a stopover in Hong Kong when the unnamed flight attendant took to the public address system and made a tear-jerker of a speech in which he urged his friends and colleagues to stay strong in this time of uncertainty.
“I dedicate this message to all of my crew, no matter what the future holds for you, I know you are all destined to achieve great things,” the flight attendant said in his speech which was recorded by a passenger using his mobile phone on the repatriation flight. “From the bottom of my heart I owe you all a massive thank you, although even that doesn’t seem justified or remotely enough,” he continued.
Air New Zealand will make roughly one-third of its entire 12,000 strong workforce redundant which includes 1,460 cabin crew. The worst affected department is the Kiwi flag carrier’s long-haul crew who operate Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft – around 950 international crew will be laid off as Air New Zealand navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the last six years of my career, you have been there with me for the lowest parts and celebrated with me front and centre through the many highs. You have been with me through a multitude of medical emergencies, assaults, all of the laughter, the studying, the magic moments and so much more.”
“You have worked with me every single Christmas Day and even recently held my hand when my father had a heart attack. Even today you have helped us rescue some stranded Kiwis to bring home all whilst delivering service with the utmost positivity and professionalism.”
“You are an asset to this airline and I have loved seeing your growth and your transformation into the outstanding flight attendants that you are. To say I’m proud of you is a massive understatement. You are not just my colleagues, but my friends, my whanau and my family.
The PA message finished:
“You are my kaupapa, my purpose and simply put, you are my everything. This may be the end of one chapter for all of us, but it is certainly not the end of our journeys. Kia Kaha, stay strong, may your futures shine bright as you write your own stories and pave your own destinies.”
Despite New Zealand’s success in combatting the novel Coronavirus, tough travel restrictions remain in force to prevent infected travellers from coming into the country. As a result, Air New Zealand plans to operate just a skeleton international schedule until at least August 31. International flights remain down 95 per cent on pre-COVID levels.
Domestically, there are signs of improvement after the government dropped its Coronavirus alert level down to Level 2 but schedules are down 80 per cent on what the airline was operating just a few short months ago.
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.