INDEPENDENT NEWS

E tū: changing times as Air NZ cuts London services

Published: Wed 23 Oct 2019 09:07 AM
23 October 2019
E tū says it’s not surprised by Air New Zealand’s decision to pull out of its London base and cease flights between Los Angeles and London.
E tū Head of Aviation, Savage says for many years, Kiwi travellers have looked to fly to Europe via LA and London, and the soon-to-be-defunct Air NZ route was popular in the past.
But he says, that’s changed as more players have crowded the trans-Atlantic market and flights via the Middle East and Asia have become more desirable.
“After 36 years, it’s definitely the end of an era, and our thoughts are with the cabin crew and other UK based staff who will lose their jobs,” says Savage.
“The 130 London-based crew are members of Unite union in the UK. They are a mix of nationalities with about 30 New Zealanders. As we understand it, some of the London crew will have found out today while half-way to LA that the base was closing.
“Only cabin crew know what it is like to be cabin crew so, regardless of which union they belong to or where they live, our members have strong solidarity with fellow Air NZ crew who are now facing redundancy.
“We have contacted the union officials in London and will be offering whatever assistance we can.”
Savage says this morning’s other announcement of direct flights to New York was also not unexpected.
“The focus is now on Pacific-rim countries as Air NZ re-positions itself in the market. Our members on the 787s are in contract negotiations with the company at present and that includes agreements on Ultra Long Range flying where duty times for crew will be around 19 hours,” he says.
Savage says both moves reflect a strong focus within Air New Zealand on profits.
“It is clear the airline is focused on maximising profits on every route they fly. For E tū members, it is important the drive to increase company profits does not undermine the company’s social commitments to its own employees.
“Profit at the expense of decent well-paid aviation jobs here in New Zealand will not help the New Zealand economy thrive,” says Savage.
ENDS

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