29 May 2009

Air NZ cuts flights - 80 jobs at risk

6:10 pm on 29 May 2009

Air New Zealand has announced it will cut services for the coming year in a move that could see up to 80 jobs go.

The airline is blaming the global recession for the cut and says it is disappointed the Government is not putting more funding into tourism.

The cuts will reduce capacity on the Hong Kong to London service from daily to five days a week from mid October.

There will also be a reduction in frequency on some domestic routes.

Air New Zealand says it has identified a potential surplus of up to 40 domestic cabin crew and pilots, while a further 40 jobs could be lost at Christchurch and Auckland airports.

The airline says it is disappointed the Government has not increased its support for tourism and says it will lobby for increased funding for tourism promotion in the coming weeks.

The tourism industry says the cuts will put all tourist operators under pressure.

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Tim Cossar told Checkpoint the government needs to take the lead in promoting New Zealand tourism overseas.

He says what they are spending at the moment is less than 1% of the tourism exchange earnings that the country is generating.

Mr Cossar says the job summit identified that an additional $60 million plus was required to move the tourism industry forward.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says the proposed restructuring will affect members working in airport services and for Air New Zealand's subsidiary Zeal 320.

The union says it will work vigorously to protect their interests.