Air New Zealand posts third straight loss, sees rebound in 2023 | Aviation

The airline said it expected capacity to reach 75-80% of pre-pandemic levels in fiscal year 2023.

Air New Zealand posted its third consecutive annual loss after months of shutdowns and border closures earlier in the year.

However, New Zealand’s flagship carrier signals the worst of the damage is over, predicting flight capacity will reach 75-80% of pre-pandemic levels in fiscal year 2023 following reopening of borders. of the country.

The airline posted a loss of NZ$725 million ($450 million) for the 2022 financial year, compared with a loss of NZ$444 million ($276 million) a year earlier.

New Zealand earlier this month lift its final pandemic border restrictions after welcoming the return of tourists from more than 50 countries, including the US, Canada and the UK, in May.

Domestic air travel has also rebounded sharply after the lifting of domestic COVID-19 travel bans. However, the high rate of illness among employees during the southern winter forced the airline to limit capacity.

Earlier this month, Air New Zealand said it would operate domestic and international schedules at 90% of pre-pandemic capacity for the next six months.

The airline did not release an earnings forecast for 2023, citing uncertainties around inflationary cost pressures and volatility in jet fuel prices.

In March, the carrier raised NZ$2.2 billion ($1.37 billion) to add to its balance sheet impacted by the pandemic and return its liquidity package. government worth NZ$2 billion ($1.24 billion).

“As we have seen abroad, travel demand is much stronger than people expected. But we are operating in a very tight labor market with high fuel prices, tough economic conditions and the highest levels of employee sickness in more than a decade,” said Air CEO. New Zealand, said Greg Foran.

“Our repair efforts and training capabilities have been excellent, as have been efforts to get our Boeing 777-300ER aircraft back in the air, but the experience for some of our customers has been overwhelming. me and the impact on our frontline workers this winter was unacceptable, so we’ve adapted again. “

New Zealand used strict border controls to keep it largely COVID-free throughout the pandemic until the arrival of the highly infectious variant of Omicron in December leading to daily infections. series in this country.

While New Zealand once boasted one of the lowest death rates globally, the country’s isolation has weakened industries like tourism and left thousands of New Zealanders vulnerable. stuck abroad.

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