Air New Zealand’s chairman has said she is “greatly appreciative” of the government’s $900 million bailout package.
The loan, which totals $891 million, can be converted into airline shares and came on the condition that its interim dividend would be cancelled.
Chairman Dame Therese Walsh said, “The loan facility ensures that Air New Zealand can continue to play a vital role in connecting New Zealanders and our businesses with each other here at home and around the world.”
On Thursday, New Zealand joined Australia in stopping all non-residents entering the country, dealing a huge blow to the national carrier.
The business had already announced it would reduce many of its trans-Tasman services to just two flights a week and has suspended some altogether. Previously, it cut international flights by 85 per cent.
On Monday, it announced a trading halt and said it would begin the process of making staff redundant.
The airline said it was switching its focus on allowing Kiwis to return to New Zealand and to keep trade corridors with Asia and North America open.
Dame Therese said of the bailout, “Air New Zealand is greatly appreciative of the government’s support of a loan facility as the airline navigates its way through the unprecedented challenges created by COVID-19.
“The government and Treasury moved swiftly to ensure that Air New Zealand had financial certainty as demand for flights domestically and internationally has rapidly fallen due to travel restrictions implemented by countries around the world.”