Air New Zealand has made the decision to close its London cabin crew base of 130 flight attendants due to the impact of coronavirus (covid-19) and the global travel restrictions imposed by governments.
The final service operated by the London-based crew took place on 20 March and a New Zealand-based crew operated the final flight on 21 March. The route will remain suspended until 30 June.
The airline is facing unprecedented times as all airlines are and the past few weeks have presented an unsettling period for staff.
“The increasing travel restrictions due to covid-19 are having a significant impact on bookings and flight cancellations. While this is a tough decision, it’s important we take action now to responsibly manage Air New Zealand through this difficult period to maintain a national airline that is fit for the future.
“Our London-based cabin crew have always gone above and beyond. They consistently provide exemplary service to our customers and we remain incredibly proud of the base. Our priority now is supporting our people and we’ll be working closely with them and their union.”
The announcement of closing the London cabin crew base comes after Air New Zealand reviewed its cost base in response to covid-19 and was working with unions on a range of measures to reduce its labour bill by 30 per cent.
Air New Zealand is currently in a trading halt allowing time to fully assess the operational and financial impacts of global travel restrictions.