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Statement from NZ Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA)

Sunday 15 March 2020

Today New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) President Captain Andrew Ridling said.

“For over a week now NZALPA has been working closely with the executive teams of all of our employer companies that we represent our members – the majority of New Zealand’s pilots and nearly every Air Traffic Controller in the country.

“Today we also talked with the Minister responsible for Transport and Economic Development.  The Government have told us that it recognises this is a very tough time for aviation industry and its critical role it plays in New Zealand’s economy. 

“The Minister assured NZALPA that in addition to keeping the freight supply chain operating, the Government is aware of the acute need to keep the aviation industry intact and that the workforce can quickly get back into gear when the market picks up.

“There is no doubt that to restrict the spread of Covid-19, capacity across our flight networks will be substantially reduced and there will likely be further reductions announced in the next few days as the situation evolves. Air New Zealand, Qantas and Virgin, our major commercial airline employers within New Zealand, have advised their respective Stock Exchanges on this situation. 

“Initially we expect offshore airlines to stop flying to New Zealand in the short term and some reductions in flights will occur in the domestic network.

“Those announcements will be made by the airlines, and in the meantime NZALPA will be working with companies to minimise any redundancies and keep our highly skilled workforce available in New Zealand. 

“At this time the Board and Executive of NZALPA’s  greatest concern is for the welfare of our members and their families, and that their employment is not placed in jeopardy by the effects of the Covid-19 virus. NZALPA are continuing 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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