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United departure spells tough times - union

United departure spells tough times - union

The departure of United Airlines from New Zealand skies highlights the difficulties facing the aviation industry, says the country’s largest union.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that the fact that a major player like United was cutting routes in the Pacific showed what local airlines Air New Zealand and Qantas were up against.

“It is really vitally important that they get their arrangements in place as quickly as possible,” he said.

“We expect two years of downturn in the global aviation market.”

Mr Little said that the departure of United from New Zealand would affect the amount of work available for Air New Zealand, which provided ground handling and maintenance services to the American airline.

“While we don’t expect it will lead to any job cuts at Air New Zealand, it might reduce the amount of work available overall, including overtime,” he said.

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