Coronavirus: Air New Zealand plans to axe all Boeing 777 cabin crew as part of company downsizing

Staff were given details during a video address on Thursday afternoon.
Staff were given details during a video address on Thursday afternoon. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Details of where Air New Zealand plans to cut nearly 1000 cabin crew jobs from its international fleet were released to staff on Thursday afternoon, according to documents supplied to Newshub.

In a live video address, the company outlined which roles would be affected by its 30 percent size reduction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In total, the number of crew employed on the airline's mid to long-haul routes will reduce from 1533 to 583.

Air NZ expects its Boeing 777s to remain grounded until April next year, so as a result it plans to cut its 777 staff completely.

The number of employees who work on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet will also be reduced. Service manager roles will reduce from 157 to 142, and flight attendant numbers will be cut from 514 to 443.

However, according to a staff member who contacted Newshub, contract variations may mean many staff who operate the 777s will be 'given priority' over their Dreamliner colleagues.

Air New Zealand job cuts: 

  • Inflight service managers - Cut from 87 to 70
  • Deputy service managers - Cut from 72 to 70
  • Flight attendants - Cut from  514 to 443
  • Flight service managers - Cut from 98 to 0
  • Inflight service coordinators - Cut from  79 to 0
  • Flight attendant premium services - Cut from  367 to 0
  • Pacific class cabin crews - Cut from  316 to 0

"Based on our forecasted schedule over the next 12 months which includes significantly reduced international travel, we are proposing a reduction of 950 wide-body cabin crew roles," crew were told in the video.

Wide-body refers to the size of the aircraft - in this case the airline's Boeing 787s and 777s.

"The proposal is based on the assumption that there will be a relatively slow return of demand to international travel with no passenger flying on the 777 until April 2021."

The airline told staff it couldn't accommodate the large cost of carrying "such significant numbers of surplus crew", and while it was open to expressions of interest for those willing to take leave without pay, large cuts would still be needed.

"Based on the forecasted schedule we would still have an unimaginable level of surplus crew," the message said.

Air NZ has been contacted for comment.