Air New Zealand could reduce its workforce of 12,500 by up to 30%, as it works through the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak

Chief executive Greg Foran says: ”Air New Zealand’s well-placed to get through Covid-19. We’re a strong resilient business, we’ve got a good balance sheet.”

“But these are unprecedented conditions, and so as we deal with significant change in volume that we’re seeing at the moment, we’ll make some appropriate measure to get the business to the right size.”

He adds that the carrier is working with all its union partners to “come up with the right solution that could see us with an organisation that’s up to 30% smaller over the next period”.

Measures include taking unpaid leave, part-time employment, voluntary redundancy, and if necessary, redundancies.

Foran says: “Working together, I know that we’re going to emerge from this fitter and stronger than we were, before we went in.”

The carrier first announced on 16 March that it continues to review its cost base and will start the process of redundancies for permanent positions.

On the same day, it triggered a self-imposed trading halt to allow itself “more time to more fully assess the operational and financial impacts of global travel restrictions”. That was due to be lifted when the stock market opens on 18 March but has since been extended to 20 March.