Virus impacts Air NZ and airports

12 Mar 2020

The official New Zealand airline has changed its view on the impact that the coronavirus will have, and the disruption caused will be bigger than initially predicted. 

In February, Air New Zealand stated that the outbreak will cause a loss of around $NZ35 million- $NZ75 million from its financial year earnings. The virus has affected the airline to see a decline in demand and capacity cuts.

“And with the situation evolving at such a rapid pace, the airline is not in a position to provide an earnings outlook to the market at this time,” the airline said in a statement. 

In addition, the world aviation body, IATA has asked airports and the country’s government to offer aid to the airlines. 

New Zealand Airports Association’s chief executive, Kevin Ward explained that the IATA’s suggestion to tone down the landing slot laws should be used to the minimum number of times. 

"The airline remains entitled to a slot... as long as it uses it at least 80 per cent over a 12-month period. And because of the downturn, a number of airlines might be at risk of losing their slots under a strict interpretation of the rule." 

He went on to say, "From the airport side, our aim will be to be reasonable and proportionate, and make sure the rules aren't unnecessarily or inappropriately applied in these circumstances."

NZ’s chief executive, Greg Foran said, “This is affecting every part of the world... this is different, but it doesn't mean we are not equipped to deal with it." He claimed to lower his base pay by 15% due to the epidemic. The firm’s earnings from the first half dropped by 33%, reaching $NZ101 million.