Some Air New Zealand flight attendants spent their last shifts bringing stranded Kiwis home this week, and one made an emotional tribute to his colleagues.
During a flight back from the Philippines via Hong Kong on Thursday, one flight attendant said during his intercom announcement that although the flight on carrier NZ80 would be “the end of one chapter”, he hoped for great things for his colleagues.
“I dedicate this message to all of my crew, no matter what the future holds for you, I know you are all destined to achieve great things,” the flight attendant said.
“From the bottom of my heart I owe you all a massive thank you, although even that doesn’t seem justified or remotely enough.
"Over the last six years of my career you have been there with me for the lowest parts and celebrated with me front and centre through the many highs.
"You have been with me through a multitude of medical emergencies, assaults, all of the laughter, the studying, the magic moments and so much more.
“You have worked with me every single Christmas Day and even recently held my hand when my father had a heart attack. Even today you have helped us rescue some stranded Kiwis to bring home all whilst delivering service with the utmost positivity and professionalism.
“You are an asset to this airline and I have loved seeing your growth and your transformation into the outstanding flight attendants that you are. To say I’m proud of you is a massive understatement. You are not just my colleagues, but my friends, my whanau and my family.
“You are my kaupapa, my purpose and simply put, you are my everything. This may be the end of one chapter for all of us, but it is certainly not the end of our journeys. Kia kaha, stay strong, may your futures shine bright as you write your own stories and pave your own destinies.”
Passengers on the flight said it was a heart-breaking and moving tribute.
Ben Carter, who had been stranded in the Philippines for three months, says the Air New Zealand staff were “amazing”.
“They came over the loud speaker saying this would be the last flight unfortunately and most of them would be losing their jobs after this flight and it was quite an emotional thing to be bringing home Kiwis who’d been stranded overseas. I felt really bad for them.”
Passenger Warwick Wright said the speech was “very emotional”.
“It was well spoken. You feel sorry for them, this late in the thing they’re getting rid of them. It’s shocking.”