Air New Zealand is getting on the front foot and proactively revoking flights over the next six months to avoid disruptive last-minute cancelations.
With Air New Zealand recording its highest rates of staff sick leave in over a decade and experiencing a series of disruptive last-minute flight cancelations, the airline is proactively trimming its timetables over the next 6 months.
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand is cutting its seat capacity by 1.5%. The decision is expected to impact around 100,000 passengers over time.
Citing bad weather and sickness, Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran tells the last month or 2 has been challenging, with last-minute flight cancelations and delays affecting around 56,000 people. Since becoming CEO over 2 years ago, Mr. Foran says he’s learned to be ready for what he calls “the next sideswipe.”
The CEO says it is hard to predict what will happen next with COVID-19 and sickness rates but says by “tweaking the system,” he’s more confident the spate of last-minute cancelations that plagued Air New Zealand during the last school holiday time won’t happen again.
We really want to avoid a situation, particularly around Christmas time, of not being able to get people where they require to get to,” Mr. Foran told Radio New Zealand on Thursday, adding that proactively canceling flights in advance will also take some pressure off frontline staff.
Air New Zealand’s most current issued passenger numbers cover June when the airline flew 1.097 million people. Eighty percent of those passengers flew on Air New Zealand domestic flights. In June 2019, the airline carried 1.576 million passengers.
“Most customers who experience a flight change will be transferred to another flight on the same day for domestic travel, and for international travel, on the exact day or a day either side of their original booking.
Where customers cannot be accommodated within these timeframes, they may change their booking online, opt into credit, or request a refund,” reads an Air New Zealand statement.
“Those customers with changes will begin to see them from this week and will be automatically transferred to another flight. Those with further onward connections may also be disrupted, and we will work through these directly with affected customers.”
Air New Zealand eyes leasing a crewed widebody plane
Air New Zealand eyes leasing a crewed widebody plane over the summer Mr. Foran says reducing the number of flights means the airline will be capable to have crews on standby to cover illness, which has not been possible lately.”
We have rehired or brought on more than 2,000 pilots, airport staff, cabin crew, contact center, and engineers, and we’re going as fast as we can with recruitment and training.
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Air New Zealand’s 14 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners
“Mr. Foran let slip plans to lease a crewed widebody jet over the upcoming Southern Hemisphere summer season. The airline is now busy bringing its Boeing 777-300ERs out of storage, with 2 already in the air and the remaining 5 anticipated rejoin the fleet by 2023.
Thirteen of Air New Zealand’s 14 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners are operating, with one (ZK-NZE) flagged as parked.” At the time, we’re stretched to capacity, and making sure our passengers are able to travel is our top priority.
The lease of an additional crewed aircraft may help us achieve that,” advises Mr. Foran.
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