Air New Zealand has revealed to employees that they plan to ground their fleet of Boeing 777s for a year, and as a result plan to cut almost 1,000 jobs, including those of all crews working on the 777.
Air New Zealand grounding 777s for a year
Newshub reports on how Air New Zealand today announced a significant downsizing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air New Zealand’s long haul fleet currently consists of:
- 8 Boeing 777-200ERs
- 8 Boeing 777-300ERs
- 14 Boeing 787-9s
Air New Zealand expects their fleet of 16 Boeing 777s to be grounded until April 2021, meaning that over half of their long haul fleet isn’t expected to fly in the next year. That’s huge.
Air New Zealand laying off all 777 crews
Given that over half of Air New Zealand’s long haul planes will be grounded for at least a year, the airline plans to lay off nearly two thirds of long haul flight attendants. The airline has 1,533 long haul crew members, and is looking to reduce that to 583.
Air New Zealand trains their cabin crew to specific fleets (while at some other airlines flight attendants are trained on all aircraft type), so the 777 crews will be without work.
Even the 787 crews will be reduced. Of the 671 Boeing 787 crews, 86 will be laid off:
- The service manager roles will be reduced from 157 people to 142 people
- The flight attendant roles will be reduced from 514 people to 443 people
The airline made it clear that they can’t sustain the cost of carrying “such significant numbers of surplus crew,” and that while they’ll consider leave without pay, large cuts would still be needed.
Status of Air New Zealand’s operations
Currently Air New Zealand has suspended all scheduled passenger operations through at least June 30, 2020. The airline is operating a limited number of domestic flights for essential workers, along with some international cargo and repatriation flights.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Revenue Officer has continued to share interesting stats about future bookings on his Twitter (he recently shared that they were averaging under two passengers per flight). For example, yesterday he said that the airline got one A320 worth of sales yesterday for the entire month of May travel.
Forward revenue performance for @FlyAirNZ continues at around 1% of demand. We got one A320 worth of sales yesterday for May travel. June was better at 1.5% albeit that LY was weak! Very keen to see whether the clarification of level restrictions today has an impact. @andykirton
— Cam Wallace (@CamWallace_NZ) April 15, 2020
New Zealand has had quite a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has closed borders to foreigners, and is even mulling keeping them closed until there are vaccines.
Air New Zealand plans to ground all 16 Boeing 777s until at least April 2021, and as a result is laying off nearly 1,000 employees. My thoughts are with those at Air New Zealand losing their jobs, as we’re seeing cuts at so many airlines around the globe…