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Statement from NZ Air Line Pilots' Association (NZALPA) - COVID-19 Effects on NZ Pilots

Monday 16 March 2020

This afternoon New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association (NZALPA) President Captain Andrew Ridling said:

“NZALPA have just met with Air New Zealand senior management to discuss their announcement today of significant reductions on both international and domestic routes. 

“As NZALPA represent the majority of New Zealand’s pilots and nearly every Air Traffic Controller in the country, our greatest concern is for the employment and welfare of our members and their families, and that they are fully represented while commercial decisions are made due to the effects of the Covid-19 virus. 

“This morning the airline announced capacity reductions on on their long haul network. They will be suspending flights between Auckland and Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Tokyo Narita, Honolulu, Denpasar and Taipei from 30 March to 30 June. They are also suspending the London-Los Angeles service from 16 March (ex-Los Angeles) and 17 March (ex-London) through to 30 June.

“Their Tasman and Pacific Island network capacity will significantly reduce between April and June. Air New Zealand’s domestic network capacity will be reduced by around 30 percent in April and May but Air New Zealand have said that they have no current plans to suspend those routes. 

“The industry is aware that, until this unprecedented situation developed, Air New Zealand would have had forecasted annual revenue of approximately $NZ6billion dollars. I would no longer be surprised if that forecast is reduced to around $NZ1billion.”  

“The company have now advised NZALPA that, based on current modelling, Air New Zealand will be looking to reduce employee headcount across the organisation by up to 30 per cent. We understand this will not be a short term measure.” 

“Our other members are awaiting announcements from Virgin and Qantas this afternoon.”

“NZALPA are continuing to urgently and actively represent the need of our members and their families at the Government, industry and company levels. This includes the executive teams of all of our employer companies.”

Media contact:  Lisa-Marie Richan 027 2780441 

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