Air NZ cuts flights, in trading halt

Air New Zealand will reduce long-haul capacity by 85 per cent in the coming months and make redundancies as COVID-19 slashes demand for air travel.

New Zealand's flag carrier has placed itself in a trading halt "to allow it time to more fully assess the operational and financial impacts of global travel restrictions".

On Monday morning, Air NZ advised it would "significantly reduce" trans-Tasman flights, and operate a bare bones network to Asia and North America.

It will end flights between Auckland and Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Vancouver, Tokyo Narita, Honolulu, Denpasar and Taipei from March 30 for three months.

Domestic capacity will be cut by a third but all destinations will remain.

Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran said the business was in discussions with the government for support.

"We are now accepting that for the coming months at least Air New Zealand will be a smaller airline requiring fewer resources, including people," he said.

"We are a nimble airline with a lean cost base, strong balance sheet, good cash reserves, an outstanding brand and a team going above and beyond every day."

Mr Foran said the airline would work with unions that represented its 8000-strong workforce.

"These are unprecedented times that we are all having to navigate," he said.



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