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Nov 20, 2008

Air New Zeland cuts 200 Jobs

National carrier Air New Zealand plans to cut up to 200 full-time jobs in response to falling passenger numbers, it said on Wednesday.

The company said it has been reducing capacity in line with falling demand and needed to reduce its workforce accordingly. About half of the redundancies will hit long-haul cabin crew, with technical, planning and management jobs also to be axed.

It said it had tried to minimise the cuts by offering reduced hours, not replacing some jobs and freezing executive pay.

"However these measure will not fully address the excess staff levels we now have as a result of these capacity reductions, especially in the long haul business where capacity is being reduced by 8 percent when compared with the last financial year," Chief Executive Rob Fyfe said in a statement.

Savings from the staff cuts, combined with a company-wide review of spending, are expected to be more than NZ$20 million ($11 million) a year.

Air New Zealand, which is 76 percent owned by the state, has 11,000 full-time staff.

In its September operating statistics, the company said passenger numbers were down 4.5 percent on September 2007, with passenger loads down 2.5 percentage points to 77.8 percent.

In the trans-Tasman and Pacific markets, Air New Zealand said passenger numbers were down 10 percent and load factors fell 7 percentage points.

In the year to June 2008, Air New Zealand's net profit fell 1 percent to NZ$218 million, largely due to higher fuel prices.

Shares in Air New Zealand last traded down a cent or 1.1 percent at NZ$0.90 in a broader market down 0.5 percent

Airlines across the globe have been cutting staff and flights to reduce costs to counter falling demand and spiralling fuel costs. ($1=NZ$1.82) (Reporting by Adrian Bathgate and Gyles Beckford)

Source : Reuters
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