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Tue, 17 March 2020

Air New Zealand to Reduce Capacity by 85%

Air New Zealand has decided to further reduce capacity across its network.

On its long haul network, Air New Zealand will be reducing its capacity by 85 percent over the coming months and will operate a minimal schedule to allow Kiwis to return home and to keep trade corridors with Asia and North America open.

Air New Zealand is expected to unveil the details of this schedule in the coming days.

Among the long haul network capacity reductions, Air New Zealand has already confirmed that it is suspending flights between Auckland and Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Tokyo Narita, Honolulu, Denpasar and Taipei from 30 March to 30 June. It is also suspending its London-Los Angeles service from 20 March (ex LAX) and 21 March (ex LHR) through to 30 June.

Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

The Tasman and Pacific Island network capacity will significantly reduce from 30 March through to 30 June 2020, although the dates may change if demand continues to fall. Overall, Tasman capacity will reduce by 80 percent as follows:

Wellington to Sydney: Reduced to two return services per week

Christchurch to Sydney: Reduced to two return services per week

Auckland to Sydney: Reduced to seven return services per week

Auckland to Brisbane: Reduced to five return services per week

Auckland to Melbourne: Reduced to seven return services per week.

All other Tasman routes have been suspended from 30 March to 30 June as follows:

Auckland-Adelaide
Auckland-Cairns
Auckland-Sunshine Coast
Auckland-Coolangatta
Auckland-Perth
Christchurch-Brisbane
Christchurch-Melbourne
Christchurch-Coolangatta
Wellington-Brisbane
Wellington-Melbourne
Queenstown-Melbourne
Queenstown-Sydney
Queenstown-Brisbane

On the Domestic network, capacity will be reduced by around 30 percent in April and May but no routes will be suspended.

Customers are advised that due to the unprecedented level of schedule changes they should not contact the airline unless they are due to fly within the next 48 hours or need immediate repatriation to New Zealand or their home country.

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."

As a result of the downturn in travel Air New Zealand continues to review its cost base and will need to start the process of redundancies for permanent positions acknowledging the important role partnering with unions has in this process.

"We are now accepting that for 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 asking 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 organisations," Mr Foran said.

The airline is working with the heads of the four main unions representing more than 8,000 of its workforce.

As part of Air New Zealand's cost savings initiatives the Board of Directors will take a 15 percent pay cut until the end of this calendar year.

See latest Travel News, Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: Air New Zealand, COVID19.

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