As COVID-19 continues to ravage the aviation industry, Air New Zealand is looking to lease office space at its company headquarters in Auckland. As a part of its cost-saving measures, Air New Zealand has decided to sublet as much as 5,000 square meters (53,819.55 square feet) of its headquarters.
The move is all part of a radical rethink of its future and comes after the Star Alliance member decided to lay off more than 4,000 staff to combat declining revenues due to the deadly pandemic.
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Air New Zealand is the sole tenant
A direct result of the layoffs is that the airline no longer needs such a large building from which to run its day to day business. The once busy Wynyard Quarter headquarters at 185 Fanshawe Street is a ghost town compared to how it was before the coronavirus struck.
The national flag carrier was the first and sole tenant to move into the six-story 20,000 sqm building when it first opened in 2006. Now the Kiwi airline has engaged Canada-based Colliers International to sublet 845sqm ( 9,095.50 sqft ) to 5,000sqm (53,819.55 sqft) fitted office space.
According to New Zealand news website Stuff.co.nz, the listing says the following,
“Air New Zealand has identified an opportunity to optimize its footprint at its head office.”
The space Air New Zealand wants to rent has two interconnected buildings and comes with high profile signage rights together with views of the harbor and Victoria Park. Amenities in the building on the corner of Fanshawe St and Beaumont St include electric vehicle charging points, underground parking, and various meetings, seminars, and board rooms.
An airline spokeswoman responded to Stuff.co.nz questions by saying,
“As part of this, we are considering subletting some of the Auckland hub office.”
Air New Zealand closed its parliament office
In another move to help cut costs during these unprecedented times for the airline industry, Air New Zealand closed its dedicated international travel office at Wellington’s Parliament Building.
At the end of August, Air New Zealand posted a $454 million (USD 304 million) loss for the year, marking a 264% drop in after-tax profits published for the previous year. It is the first time in 18 years that Air New Zealand has been in the red.
The loss is directly related to the coronavirus crisis and the travel restrictions that have been put in place to help stop the virus from spreading.
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said the coronavirus had created the harshest conditions the airline had ever faced when asked about it by Stuff.co.nz.
“We don’t know exactly how long this will last, and we can all see the significant impact it’s had on the business,” Foran said.
Office space is no longer a priority
Since the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown, many people have managed to work from home. It has also got companies thinking about doing away with the traditional office working environment. Urban real-estate can cost a lot of money, with one company in California saying that closing its office and letting its employees work from home would save 20% of its operating costs.
While Air New Zealand scrambles to find ways to save money, it will face a tough time getting someone to lease its empty offices.
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