The efforts Air New Zealand employees made during one of the airline’s toughest years will be recognised via an award of $1,000 worth of company shares to all permanent employees.
Air New Zealand has provided indicative earnings commentary on the next financial year, anticipating another significant loss and continued challenges given uncertainty about the reopening of long-haul borders.
The airline expects losses before other significant items and taxation will not exceed $450 million for the 2021 financial year.
However, Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says that despite the challenges of the last 12 months, the airline continues to have a strong core in its Domestic and short-haul businesses.
Air New Zealand’s domestic capacity is now at approximately 90% of pre-COVID levels. The Tasman market is building following the opening of the Trans-Tasman bubble in late April 2021, with capacity currently at around 70% of pre-COVID levels.
Long-haul international passenger travel remains highly restricted, with passenger volumes currently less than 5% of pre-COVID levels while international borders remain effectively closed.
Greg Foran says this means it is more important than ever to ensure Air New Zealand staff are recognised for the work they’ve done – and will continue to do – as the airline recovers.
“This is the right thing to do given the mahi and sacrifices Air New Zealanders have made to get the airline through Survive and into its Revive phase,” says Mr Foran.
“And by awarding shares to our employees, we want them to have the chance to benefit from the future success we will really need their help to deliver.
“I’m immensely proud of the way our people have responded to the COVID-19 crisis. They have risen to the occasion, working hard to keep New Zealand connected and Kiwis safe.
“Some pilots and crew spent more than 100 days in isolation to help reunite thousands of overseas Kiwis with their loved ones. Our cargo team has helped take 100,000 tonnes of New Zealand product to the world. Day in-and-out our people have done, and continue to do, everything they can in challenging and changing conditions to keep our customers safe.”
Around 8,000 employees will be eligible for the share award, which will be made in the last quarter of this calendar year. This will be available to New Zealand and Australian employees, and as a cash equivalent for those in other global locations.
In addition, after 15 months of reduced salaries, the airline will end employee salary reductions from 1 July.
“These steps are possible because we’re on a more stable financial footing given our strong domestic business and growing Tasman and Cook Islands revenues.
“While a full recovery is still some time away, the changes announced today recognise that we cannot get there without an exceptional and ongoing contribution by our dedicated Air New Zealand team.
“We thank our people for the sacrifices made over the past 15 months and for their ongoing commitment to our customers in the coming year,” he concluded.
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