The union representing New Zealand said employees were “devastated” to learn that more than 1300 staff would be made redundant.
According to the E tū union, 950 jobs would be lost on long and mid-haul flight crews, out of a total of 1600 positions.
For domestic crew, 300 workers will be made redundant across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Regional airlines are also affected, with a combined loss of 97 jobs between Air Nelson and Mt Cook Airline.
One E tū cabin crew member, who wishes to remain anonymous, says they are “absolutely devastated”.
The member says their future is uncertain, and they expect they will “slip into the thousands and thousands of job applicants” and look at retraining for completely different work.
E tū Assistant National Secretary Rachel Mackintosh says many more workers are also devastated.
“It couldn’t be much worse for some of Air New Zealand’s loyal cabin crew,” Rachel says.
“Many are completely gutted – they have committed years to making Air New Zealand a world class airline, only to be out of work with huge uncertainties about ongoing careers in their industry.”
In a statement, Air New Zealand said it had been forced to undergo cost reductions as a result of the financial damage caused by Covid-19.
“In addition to cost savings right across our business, Air New Zealand has taken the step of reducing our workforce by 3500 roles.
“This process has not been rushed and consultation has been very comprehensive and in good faith,” it said.
“We started talking to staff and unions about these issues nine weeks ago and have done everything possible since then to collaborate and reduce the number of compulsory redundancies, including calling for voluntary exits, leave without pay, applying for the Government wage subsidy, and exploring redeployment and part-time options.”
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