Air New Zealand braces for Covid-19 disturbance

By Allen Jack

With the world unsure of how or when the coronavirus (Covid-19) will be contained, Air New Zealand is implementing emergency measures to mitigate losses. 

In a recent press release, the airline announced that its 2020 earnings guidance would be suspended until further notice, having now come to the conclusion that monetary losses will be “more significant than previously estimated.” 

Due to the virus’ spread, which has now reached every continent of the globe, Air New Zealand states that bookings for flights have deteriorated and demand is staying low. 

A growing problem

Discussing the effect of coronavirus on the airline, Greg Foran, CEO, commented that the situation was unpredictable and difficult to react to. 

"We have been continuously monitoring bookings and in recent days have seen a further decline which coincides with media coverage of the spread of Covid-19 to most countries on our network as well as here in New Zealand," he said. 


The airline has reduced its capacity to Asia by 26%, with its overall capacity dropping 10% since the initial outbreak at the beginning of 2020. 

Foran, who is taking a voluntary pay cut of NZ$250,000 to aid the situation, remained firm in his stance that Air New Zealand could weather the storm:

"Air New Zealand is a strong and resilient business operated by a world-class team with deep experience having navigated prior shocks to our business and industry. 

“While we have already made swift adjustments to our operations, we are prepared to take further actions to address the ongoing demand impact of Covid-19."

Keeping health and safety a priority

This news from Air New Zealand comes relatively soon after its announcement that a recent passenger tested positive for the virus. 

Informing the public that the flight had been from Singapore to Auckland, the airline’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Ben Johnston, gave his assurance that such a contingency has been planned for and was being dealt with. 

"We are working closely with the Ministry of Health to identify and proactively contact customers from these flights,” he said. “The health and safety of passengers and crew is Air New Zealand's top priority.”

For more information on business topics in ANZ, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief ANZ.

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