[Coronavirus] Air New Zealand cuts 85% of international capacity, lays off staff

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Air New Zealand said on Monday 16 March that it would further cut capacity and look to lay off some permanent employees as the coronavirus outbreak hits global travel demand. Trading in Air New Zealand shares has been halted.

Hoping to slow the spread of coronavirus, New Zealand’s government on the weekend imposed two weeks of self-quarantine for everyone who arrives in the country.

On its long haul network, Air New Zealand will cut its capacity by 85% in the coming months and suspend a number of routes. Among the flights being suspended, Air New Zealand will put a halt to routes between Auckland and Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Tokyo Narita, Honolulu, Denpasar and Taipei from March 30 to June 30. It is also suspending its London–Los Angeles service from March 20 (out of LAX) and March 21 (ex London Heathrow) through to June 30.

The domestic network would be reduced by 30% in April and May, but will not see any routes suspended.

The directors of the airline will take a 15% pay cut until the end of this year. CEO Greg Foran said in a statement: “It is clear that if we don’t take all the appropriate measures to lower costs and to drive revenue, our airline won’t be in the best position to accelerate forward once we are through the worst of the impact of Covid-19“.

The airline also said: “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.

 

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