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Hundreds of jobs to go as Air NZ earnings slump

Air New Zealand will be slashing hundreds of jobs after a "disappointing" 71 percent decline in six-month earnings.

Air New Zealand today announced normalised earnings before tax of $33 million for the six-month period ended December 31 – down from $79 million – with net profit after tax being $38 million, down from $60 million.

Chief executive Rob Fyfe pointed the finger at rising fuel costs and a weaker global economy, resulting in a profit squeeze. 

“We plan to remove 441 roles from the business before the end of the financial year," he said.

As part of a drive to boost profits by more than $195 million, 266 roles will be removed through non-replacement or non-renewal of contracts, of which 193 have already been cut. The remaining 175 will result in redundancies, a process beginning today.

Chairman John Palmer said the airline had enjoyed a solid performance from the domestic network but the international long haul network continued to face a challenging time in the European and Japanese markets.

The airline's number of passengers carried is down 0.6 percent.

“The balance sheet remains strong and is reflected in the board’s decision to declare an interim dividend of two cents per share.”

Operating revenues rose 2.5 percent to $2.29 million, leaving Air New Zealand with a net cash position of $912 million.

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Still profiting, still paying shareholder divvies, still cash surplus, yet still cutting jobs. Grow some balls and ride it out.

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