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Air New Zealand Boeing 777s to remain grounded

written by Adam Thorn | April 20, 2020

A file image of an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200ER. (Victor Pody)
An Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200ER. (Victor Pody)

Air New Zealand expects its Boeing 777s to remain grounded until April 2021. As a result, the airline plans to lay off nearly 1,000 flight attendants from its international fleet.

The number of employees who work on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet will also be reduced. Service manager roles will reduce from 157 to 142, and flight attendant numbers will be cut from 514 to 443.

The airline had already previously signalled its intention to make 3,000 staff redundant.

“Based on our forecasted schedule over the next 12 months which includes significantly reduced international travel, we are proposing a reduction of 950 wide-body cabin crew roles,” Air New Zealand crew were told in a video message.

The proposal is based on the assumption that there will be a relatively slow return of demand to international travel with no passengers flying on the 777 until April 2021.


The airline told staff it couldn’t accommodate the large cost of carrying such significant numbers of the surplus crew, and while it was open to expressions of interest for those willing to take leave without pay, large cuts would still be needed.

“Based on the forecasted schedule we would still have an unimaginable level of surplus crew,” the message said.

Earlier this month, Australian Aviation reported that the airline had appointed one of the country’s most high-profile former union leaders to advise its board as it prepares for the exit of 3,500 employees.

Former Council of Trade Unions (CTU) president Ross Wilson will provide an independent workforce perspective, the business says, as it downsizes and rebuilds following the coronavirus crisis. Recent speculation suggests 400 pilots will be among those made redundant.

Additional reporting by Airlinerwatch.com. 

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