12 November 2014

Hamilton Reaction to Eagle Closure

Air New Zealand may axe up to 70 aircraft engineers and support staff in Hamilton following an announcement yesterday that it plans to close subsidiary Eagle Airways. The airline also announced it would scrap the Hamilton-to-Auckland route from February 2016. Eagle Airways is a regional airline flying under Air New Zealand's Link brand, servicing New Zealand's rural towns with Beech 1900D aircraft... 

Luxon acknowledged the news was disappointing for the communities affected and for the staff of Eagle Airways. "These engineers are working in highly-skilled, well-paid jobs which create a lot of value for the local economy," Strachan Crang, union EPMU's assistant director of organising, said. "They'll find it very difficult to get similar work in the Waikato and many may have to relocate." Eagle Air will cease operations in August 2016. There may be provision for a smaller maintenance facility to remain in Hamilton, working on other Air New Zealand aircraft. "Fortunately there's a long lead-in time so we'll be able to make sure all our members can move to other jobs in the wider Air New Zealand group if that's what they choose," Crang said.

Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive William Durning said the announcement was a reflection on the commercial realities of the aviation industry. "We see that there are definitely benefits for the Waikato business community. It's good to see that there's greater accessibility to Hamilton and the Waikato with those 50-seater aircraft," he said. "There's obviously that loss of the Hamilton to Auckland flight. We don't see that as being a major for the community, there's still really good accessibility to Auckland through other means." 

For full article see : http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/63110447/Axe-swings-on-Hamilton-Air-New-Zealand-employees

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