As the impact of the coronavirus outbreak continues, the travel industry has taken a fierce broadside that has caused many businesses to introduce measures that will enable them to stay afloat during the crisis. Today, Air New Zealand announced they were bringing forward the closure of its London cabin crew base because of the virus and the knock-on effects created by governmental travel restrictions around the world.
Commenting on the closure, which was due to happen in October 2020, Air New Zealand general manager of cabin crew, Leeanne Langridge, said: “The increasing travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are having a significant impact on bookings and flight cancellations. While this is a tough decision, it’s important we take action now to responsibly manage Air New Zealand through this difficult period to maintain a national airline that is fit for the future.
“Our priority now is supporting our people”
Langridge went on to add, “Our London-based cabin crew have always gone above and beyond. They consistently provide exemplary service to our customers and we remain incredibly proud of the base. Our priority now is supporting our people and we’ll be working closely with them and their union.”
Earlier in the week, the carrier revealed that it would be reviewing its cost base in response to COVID-19 and is working with unions on a range of measures to reduce its labour bill by 30%.
Furthermore, Air New Zealand halted trading on Monday to allow it time to fully assess the operational and financial impacts of global travel restrictions. The trading halt remains in place.