Pilots` Strike “Based on False Assumptions”


Air New Zealand says the Airline Pilots Association`s (ALPA) planned strike action appears to be based on “false assumptions” about its airline development strategies.


Air New Zealand is calling on ALPA and its members to withdraw notice of a 48 hour strike from 4.00am on Friday, 19 July, to 4.00am on Sunday, 21 July, that would affect Air New Zealand Limited`s international and domestic jet services. Operations by Air New Zealand subsidiary airlines - Freedom Air, Mount Cook, Air Nelson, and Eagle Air - are not affected by the planned strike.


The ALPA decision to strike appears to be based on a false assumption that Air New Zealand is pursuing a strategy of “farming out” work from its core international and national airline businesses to subsidiary companies, such as Freedom Air.


This is incorrect. The Board of Air New Zealand has just signed off a budget for the next year that will see an increase in the amount of flying undertaken by Air New Zealand`s international and national jet airlines.


The Group`s forward planning for the next 5 years includes a continued expansion of Air New Zealand`s international and national jet airlines, which would provide an increase in job and promotion opportunities for members of ALPA.

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ALPA and its members also appear to be planning strike action on the false assumption that Air New Zealand is demanding the ability to switch pilots from its international and national airlines to its budget airline subsidiary, Freedom Air.


Air New Zealand has made no such demand. It has responded to a demand by ALPA and its members for access to jobs at Freedom Air, and any other jet service operated by any subsidiary company, on their existing terms and conditions. Air New Zealand has said those terms and conditions would have to be altered if ALPA and its members want to achieve the ability to switch between Air New Zealand and Freedom.


Yesterday, Air New Zealand noted reports that it was demanding that ALPA and its members accept a 15% pay cut. These reports were also incorrect. Air New Zealand is asking all employee groups (including ALPA) to accept a 12 months wage pause, that is no wage increases for 12 months, as part of its strategy to recover from its near collapse at the end of last year.


In view of the number of mistaken and false assumptions that are in circulation about Air New Zealand`s intentions, Air New Zealand is repeating its call on ALPA and its members to withdraw their strike notice and return to the negotiating table.


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