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Air New Zealand plans to close Auckland maintenance facility, cut 180 jobs, union says

Friday 23rd August 2013

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Air New Zealand, the national carrier, plans to close its wide body aircraft heavy maintenance facility in Auckland by July next year, with the loss of 180 aircraft engineering jobs, according to the union representing the workers.

The proposed closure is a result of the loss of third party engineering work, the retirement of Air New Zealand's 767 fleet and the airline's inability to attract replacement work as the high New Zealand dollar curbs competitiveness, the EPMU said in a statement. Air New Zealand wasn't immediately able to confirm the plans.

The proposed cuts follow job losses at the Christchurch Engine Centre, Safe Air and Air New Zealand technical operations, the EPMU said. Air New Zealand is also proposing to outsource the upgrade of its Boeing 777-200 fleet, the EPMU said.

"The confirmation of job losses is devastating for our members and we will be doing everything we can to protect jobs," EPMU assistant director of organising Strachan Crang said in the statement. "New Zealand has world-class aircraft engineers but unless we see action on the high dollar, this highly-skilled, well-paid industry will continue to decline."

The union will start a 58-day consultation process with Air New Zealand where it will have the opportunity to analyse the airline's business case and suggest an alternative proposal.

Shares in Air New Zealand fell 3.1 percent to $1.40.

BusinessDesk.co.nz



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