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Air Nelson reassures passengers

Media Release 

18 March 2008

Air Nelson reassures passengers

Air Nelson today reassured passengers that it is putting contingency plans in place to minimise the impact of proposed industrial action by members of the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Associations (NZALPA).

NZALPA has served notice to Air Nelson of a half-day withdrawal of labour on Tuesday 25 March. It has also served work to rule notices for Thursday 27 March to  7 April inclusive.

Air Nelson General Manager John Hambleton said the industrial action had been well signalled by NZALPA and the airline had been working through contingency plans to ensure continuity of service to passengers.

“Air Nelson is working hard to ensure its services will remain unaffected over this period and at this stage is confident that the impact on passengers will be minimal,” he said. “We are disappointed that NZALPA timed the initial action to impact on services at the end of the Easter break when a large number of passengers are travelling home.”

Where possible, passengers will be notified in advance of any changes.

Mr Hambleton advised that “the company believed the nature of NZALPA pilots’ current claims amount in total to an increase in pilot labour costs of close to 30 percent.

“The pilots’ roster claims intended to enhance time off would reduce their average duty hours (excluding training staff) to below the current 31 hours per week. That would require the company to employ in excess of 36 additional pilots, costing the company millions. We do not believe our passengers are willing to pay millions of dollars more for their airfares.

“Air Nelson is committed to bringing the negotiations to a conclusion and will continue to seek a resolution through mediation.”


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