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Air NZ cuts long haul capacity by 85 per cent, domestic by 30 per cent as coronavirus impact hits hard

Air New Zealand is grounding the vast majority of its international flights and reducing its domestic capacity, going into a trading halt during the coronavirus outbreak.

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

It comes after new rules forcing a 14-day self-isolation for almost all international arrivals into New Zealand.

Today Air New Zealand announced its long-haul network is slashing its capacity by 85 per cent over the coming months, operating a "minimal schedule".

Flights will primarily be to bring Kiwis home and keep trade corridors with Asia and North America open, the airline says.

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran. Source: 1 NEWS

Among the flights being grounded are all trips from Auckland to Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Tokyo Narita, Honolulu, Denpasar and Taipei from March 30 to June 30, as well as its London-Los Angeles service from March 20 and 21 through to the end of June.

Domestic services will also be reduced by around 30 per cent over the coming months.

Unless people are flying within the next 48 hours or need "immediate repatriation" to New Zealand or their home countries, passengers are asked not to contact Air New Zealand for support, due to the "unprecedented level of schedule changes".

Chief executive Greg Foran already announced he's taking a pay cut due to the airline's challenges, with the rest of the board of directors following suit today with a 15 per cent pay cut to the end of 2019.

Mr Foran says they're working to support the rest of their staff.

"We are now accepting that for the coming months at least Air New Zealand will be a smaller airline requiring fewer resources, including people," Mr Foran said today.

"We have deployed a range of measures, such as leave without pay and asking those with excess leave to take it, but these only go so far. 

"We are working on redeployment opportunities for some of our staff within the airline and also to support other organisations."

Auckland Airport is also suspending its earnings guidance for the year, with chief executive Adrian Littlewood saying the future is "very uncertain".

"The health and safety of our community has to come first and we support the Government in its efforts to protect the health of New Zealanders and reduce the threat of transmission of Covid-19."