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Statement from NZ Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA)

Tuesday 17 March 2020

In regard to today’s developments from the effects of the COVID-19 virus pandemic on the aviation industry, New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) President Captain Andrew Ridling said:

“We expect many New Zealand-based pilots who work for both Qantas subsidiaries Jetconnect Ltd and Jetstar to be affected by Qantas’ announcement today of its total international capacity reduction of 90 per cent from the end of March to at least the end of May 2020.  We also expect Virgin to soon make a similar announcement. 

“In addition to our 1520 Air New Zealand pilots, since the escalation of the COVID-19 virus issues NZALPA has been consistently working closely with executive teams of our members’ employer companies to minimise any redundancies and keep our highly skilled workforce available in New Zealand. 


“This includes looking after the interests of our 127 Jetconnect and 81 Jetstar members.


“NZALPA have also been informed by Virgin, who have 208 New Zealand-based pilots, will be making an announcement in the next 24 hours. We expect a substantial capacity reduction.   


“Meanwhile, NZALPA understands that a portion of the $600 million dollar ‘aviation package’  announced by the Minister of Finance this afternoon as part of the COVID-19 economic statement will go into border security measures, we are currently seeking more information from the Government on this initiative and look forward to hearing more detail about the intention of this funding later in the week.


“NZALPA represents the majority of New Zealand’s pilots and nearly every Air Traffic Controller. Our executive and management continue to urgently and actively represent the need of our members and their families at the Government, industry and company levels.”


Media contact:  Lisa-Marie Richan 027 2780441 

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