Air NZ staff could face job losses as airline continues to grapple with coronavirus fallout

Air New Zealand’s new boss isn’t ruling out job losses as the airline grapples with the effects of coronavirus and the toll it has taken on the company’s operations both internationally and at home.

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The company’s chief executive Greg Foran has taken a pay cut himself, and a number of flights have been axed.

It has already made some immediate changes to further safeguard its future in the business, and its finances. The airline's chief executive, Greg Foran, has taken a $250,000 pay cut, multiple flights have been axed and a hiring freeze is in place for non-critical roles.

Speaking with 1 NEWS today, Mr Foran said he couldn’t rule out redundancies.

“I couldn’t rule out really too many actions at this point in time because we know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know, and we need to ensure that this business is operating well and operating for the long term for New Zealand and New Zealanders,” said Mr Foran.

“It’s still a bit of an unknown as to where this goes," he added. "I’m unsure what this looks like in two weeks’ time, and that’s one of the reasons we did what we did today.”

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The national airline’s new CEO sat down today with 1 NEWS reporter Katie Bradford. Source: 1 NEWS

He said it is an emerging situation.

"I couldn't rule out where this will go. The good thing is that we are resilient," he said.

Mr Foran and the airline's executives have been meeting daily to discuss the organisation's next steps. Andrew Ridling, president of the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association, said they have also been meeting with Air NZ management on a daily basis. 

"We will communicate directly to our membership any significant developments that will affect them," said Mr Ridley.

Air New Zealand slashes flights, cuts CEO's salary amid coronavirus travel slump

In an effort to revitalise sales, the airline had earlier announced several deals with cheap flights. But in today's announcement the airline admitted defeat and noted a decline in bookings across its network. 

Despite the dip, Mr Foran is confident Air New Zealand will pull through.

"This is an incredibly resilient business with a wonderful domestic network here - both into the regions, which are really important to us, and also on the main trunk lines," he said. 

"This business is going to be in just fine shape. We’ve just got to deal with what we’ve got on our plate at the moment." 

Air New Zealand has also suspended its earlier earnings guidance it released last month which had forecast $340 million to $400 million in earnings. That number is down from its earlier guidance of $425 million to $525 million.

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The airline’s seen demand plummet and expects a financial blow larger than previously thought. Source: 1 NEWS

But Mr Foran believes the airline will pull through. 

"It’s such a critical part of this country and its one of the reasons that I’m so excited about the opportunity even to have this job," he said.

"Air New Zealand is linked with New Zealand and we’re going to make good decisions, the right decisions, to ensure our success."