Air New Zealand plans to make 387 pilots redundant amid a coronavirus crisis, their union said today.
The New Zealand Airline Pilots Association (NZALPA) said it met with the airline’s chief executive Greg Foran and his executive team several times on April 6 to discuss cost-cutting measures.
“NZALPA was told by Air New Zealand that they proposed making 387 redundant pilots the “most economically efficient surplus” resulting from the proposed Air New Zealand flight schedules, “said NZALPA president Andrew Ridling.
The union said it would negotiate to reduce that number and complete the agreement process. That also wants Air New Zealand to set conditions for the pilot to return.
Ridling added: “We have been very clear with chief executive Greg Foran and Air New Zealand the executive team from the beginning of this process: If we cannot save every job, NZALPA will struggle to ensure there is a clear and transparent path back to Air New Zealand for all pilots who choose to return. “
Air New Zealand has cut 95% of its flights and approved a standby government loan as it struggles against falling demand.
The airline hopes to emerge as a smaller airline after the pandemic and said on March 31 that it plans to lay off 3,500 of its 12,500 workforce. This confirmed to Cirium that they had begun the consultation process on April 6 for the process but refused to provide further details.
Air New Zealand told Cirium: “This airline, pre-Covid-19, employs 12,500 people worldwide and it is hoped that even within one year it will be at least 30 percent smaller than it is now.”
Separately, it announced the appointment of Joe McCollum as chief newcomer from April 14, taking over from Jodie King, who moved to New Zealand Vodafone.
The carrier has also engaged work relations practitioner Paul Diver to support McCollum during his current workforce downsizing.
McCollum previously held a role in human resources at the Spark telecommunications company and the chemical company ICI.
Foran said in a statement: “Joe is no stranger to the type of large-scale rapid workplace changes Air New Zealand in front after Covid-19. He will be a key member of the team to rebuild our airline. “