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Air New Zealand confirms further 935 cabin crew redundancies

Air New Zealand has confirmed a further 935 cabin crew redundancies as Covid-19 travel restrictions continue to hit the industry hard.

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 (file picture). Source: istock.com

The airline explained the redundancies affect international cabin crew after schedule reductions saw a decline in passenger demand on international routes.

Consultations - which began in September - concluded with 385 full time international cabin crew being made redundant.

A further 550 international cabin crew who were on furlough have also now been made redundant.

"We are working closely with our unions to see if there is a different way we can provide these crew with a pathway back to Air New Zealand," an Air New Zealand spokesperson told 1 NEWS.

According to the airline around 4,000 Air New Zealand employees have lost their roles since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic- which includes the 550 international cabin crew on furlough.

Yesterday 1 NEWS reported over a dozen out of work flight attendants are putting their world class customer service to good use, this time on KiwiRail's scenic trains.

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They’ve been snapped up for a new premium rail service. Source: 1 NEWS

KiwiRail launched a brand-new premium service after lockdown on its coastal Pacific and tranz-alpine trains, turning flight attendants into train attendants.

After four years flying with Air New Zealand Ash Nobari was made redundant due to Covid-19.

“It was devastating because flying was a career that I absolutely loved and something that I saw myself doing for a really long time,” he told 1 NEWS.

However, Nobari is enjoying his new role closer to the ground.

“It’s nice not just seeing clouds out the window,” he said while working on the train to Kaikōura yesterday.

E tū union has in a statement described the redundancies as "an appalling situation".

The union's head of aviation, Savage, says, “Because of the scale of the company’s cuts some crew on furlough may now lose any hope of returning to work.

“E tū has proposed using extended leave without pay options and extending existing re-employment clauses as possible solutions but talks so far have not led to any agreement”.

E tū says when Covid hit, 787 crew were looking at possible strike action after protracted CA negotiations had failed to address their poor rates of pay. 

“This is what we feared when we warned in March that Air New Zealand was moving ahead at pace without taking into account the damage that might do to workplace relations. The damage and conflict created will simply make it harder to rebuild the airline," Savage says.

“E tū crew will do what they can to find a solution but it may be the case that the furlough scheme for 787 crew does not survive the worsening global pandemic”.