How badly has the airline been affected by the pandemic?
Air New Zealand has one of the strongest domestic networks in the world at the moment and it's been pleasing to see that build to around 75% of pre-COVID-19 levels. It goes without saying that this has been one of the most challenging years in the airline's 80 year history but we have taken actions to ensure we emerge competitively from this crisis.
Have any of your strategic priorities changed as a result?
100% of our focus continues to be on keeping our people and our customers safe. We do not expect that things will return as they were and so are building our business to deal with the new abnormal. A good example of this would be in the digital space where we expect customers will look for even more self-service and control of their journey going forward.
We’re using this time to develop our plans as we emerge from this crisis”
How important is it that post-virus traveler processes are harmonized globally?
New Zealand initially got on top of COVID-19 much more quickly than lots of other countries, but we need the
world’s economy to be moving as well—no country operates in a silo. It is advantageous if everyone follows the same protocol, however it is likely that for some time we will need to be flexible.
Do you think any of the changes we are seeing in processes and schedules are permanent?
It continues to be hard to determine forward-looking demand with any degree of certainty. The development of a vaccine or other mechanisms to help control the virus are increasingly feeling like the only solution to open up borders.
Is there anything more that should be done to help the industry by governments or other partners?
Partnering closely is critically important so key decisions need to be made collectively between us all. Operating in
silos can create a sub-optimal solution that will see increased costs and poorer service levels, resulting in dissatisfaction for many parties.
Do you remain optimistic about aviation's long-term future?
Yes. Airlines are vital when you reside in a country like New Zealand surrounded by a large expanse of water. Not every country in the world faces the same geographical challenges, so it will be different dependent on where you live. But I am very confident that our koru [Air New Zealand logo] will continue to grace the skies for many years to come.
In brief… Air New Zealand
- Air New Zealand's voluntary customer carbon offsetting programme FlyNeutral has helped contribute $1.5 million towards permanent native forestry projects across New Zealand
- Air New Zealand was incorporated in 1940 and is registered in New Zealand and Australia