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Air New Zealand Announces 85 Percent Capacity Reduction on Long Haul Flights in Coming Months

Air New Zealand announced on Monday that they will be reducing long haul flying by 85 percent in the coming months. The carrier will operate a minimal schedule to repatriate Kiwis and keep vital trade routes open with Asia and North America.

Air New Zealand Airbus A321neo - Courtesy Airbus

On Monday (March 16, 2020), Air New Zealand announced that they would be reducing long haul service by 85 percent in the coming months. The carrier will suspend service between Auckland and Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Tokyo-Narita, Honolulu, Denpasar and Taipei from March 30th until June 30, 2020. Additionally, service between London (LHR) and Los Angeles (LAX) will be suspended from March 20 (LAX) and March 21st (LHR) through June 30, 2020. Additionally, Air New Zealand will significantly reduce their Tasman and Pacific Island capacity substantially between April and June. The airline will reduce domestic capacity by around 30% in April and May, but no domestic routes will be suspended at this time. In Monday’s announcement, Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Foran said,

“The resilience of our people is exceptional, and I am consistently amazed by their dedication and passion for our customers. We are a nimble airline with a lean cost base, strong balance sheet, good cash reserves, an outstanding brand and a team going above and beyond every day. We also have supportive partners. We are also in discussions with the Government at this time. We are now accepting that in the coming months, at least, Air New Zealand will be a smaller airline requiring fewer resources, including people. We have deployed a range of measures, such as leave without pay and those with excess leave to take it, but these only go so far. We are working on redeployment opportunities for some of our staff within the airline and also to support other organizations.”

As part of the announcement, Air New Zealand placed itself into a trading halt until further notice as the carrier continues to evaluate the operational and financial impact of global travel restrictions. Additionally, as part of the carrier’s comprehensive cost savings measures, their Board of Directors will take a 15 percent pay cut until the end of the calendar year.

Source: Air New Zealand

Editor's Note: We stand by the entire Air New Zealand team and all airlines during this difficult period as the entire world fights to limit the transmission of, and ultimately recover from, the global COVID-19 pandemic. Once it has been defeated, we look forward to the emergence of an even stronger and more robust global commercial airline industry.


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