Air New Zealand Plans To Axe All Boeing 777 Crew

Air New Zealand has outlined its plans to remove around 1,000 workers from its team in a bid to cut costs. The airline announced today that all of its Boeing 777 cabin crew would lose their jobs, along with a large portion of the Dreamliner team. This is to tackle what the airline is calling a ‘surplus’ of workers during the current travel downturn.

Air New Zealand 777
Air New Zealand is laying off all its 777 cabin crew, as 1,000 jobs are lost across the team. Photo: Getty Images

Job losses for 777 cabin crew

Air New Zealand previously stated that it might need to cut around 1,000 cabin crew positions in a bid to weather the current coronavirus crisis. Now, more details have been revealed regarding where these losses will be incurred.

In a video address earlier today, carried by NewsHub, the company revealed which of its staff members were most at risk of losing their jobs. While other roles are being affected too, it seems all Boeing 777 crews are heading for the chop.

All 777 cabin crew are facing job losses, as well as many Dreamliner crews. Photo: Getty Images

Air New Zealand stated in the announcement that it didn’t expect to fly its 777s before April next year. As a result of this, the airline’s 777 crews will be cut completely.

Other long-haul employees will be worried about their job security today, as the airline outlined plans to slash widebody teams in a bid to save money. For those who work on the Dreamliner fleet, service managers will be reduced from 157 to 142 and flight attendants from 514 to 443. In the video, which Simple Flying is striving to obtain for our readers, the airline said,

“Based on our forecasted schedule over the next 12 months which includes significantly reduced international travel, we are proposing a reduction of 950 wide-body cabin crew roles. The proposal is based on the assumption that there will be a relatively slow return of demand to international travel with no passenger flying on the 777 until April 2021.”

Other job cuts

Despite getting access to NZD $900 million ($538m), Air New Zealand has still been eyeing extensive layoffs in a bid to manage costs. In total, Air New Zealand is looking to shrink by around 30% to maintain some level of financial health. The airline has outlined job cuts in the medium and long-haul teams of almost 1,000 staff, reducing the crew from 1,533 currently to a team of just 583.

According to the report in NewsHub, other job losses include the complete removal of flight service managers, inflight service coordinators, flight attendant premium services staff, and Pacific class cabin crew. In addition to this, overall flight attendants will be cut from 514 to 443, while inflight service managers will see 17 job losses from the current level of 87. Their deputies will be reduced by just two.

The airline has said that these job losses are necessary to mitigate the cost of carrying such a large number of what it calls “surplus crew.” This comes in addition to the almost 400 pilots who are looking to be let go.

Will the 777 fly again for Air New Zealand?

Although ANZ is not forecasting any passenger flights with its 777s until next April, it has already been noted to have converted one of its 777-200ERs into a temporary freighter. While freight does need a flight attendant, this can often be a load manager or other specialist. Air New Zealand plans to use converted 777s to take perishable goods out of the country, and to bring back vital PPE on the war against COVID-19.

Air New Zealand 777
Air New Zealand’s 777s took hundreds of stranded German travelers back to Frankfurt earlier this month. Photo: Getty Images

It’s 777-300ER has been involved in repatriation flights over recent weeks, and it may be deployed again in the coming days. However, these will be the last flights these crew will operate for Air New Zealand, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the 777 fleet is mothballed.

According to Planespotters, just one 777-200 remains in service, while six of the -300s are still being kept usable; that’s out of a fleet of 16 in total. As these aircraft are not overly old and very useful for ANZ’s long-haul missions, we’re confident the big black beats will be back in the skies next year.

Hopefully, many of the crew members that are being laid off will be re-hired once these difficult times are over. Our thoughts are with the crew affected.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.