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High Fuel Costs Hit Air New Zealand

This may affect anyone thinking about traveling to New Zealand in the near future:

AIR New Zealand has imposed a salary freeze on its senior executives and pay rise barriers for other staff as it battles rising fuel costs.

Air NZ (aiz.ASX:Quote,News) chief executive Rob Fyfe told staff about the measures yesterday, citing rising fuel prices and the deteriorating economy, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Mr Fyfe said his own salary and those who reported to him would be frozen. The freeze would be reviewed when business conditions improved.

Mr Fyfe said pay increases for other managers on individual employment agreements would be achieved through reducing staff or boosting productivity. He said some managers faced pay cuts through a reduction in short-term bonus payments.

The airline has nearly 11,000 staff. According to Air New Zealand’s annual report, its highest-paid employee gets $NZ1.61 million ($1.3 million).

Air New Zealand has raised airfares four times since early March as it tries to offset soaring fuel prices, and has warned its annual profit is likely to fall 23 per cent this year. []

The airline industry has been hit hard by rising fuel costs and it is sad to see a quality airline like Air New Zealand getting hammered like it is. My wife and I traveled to New Zealand last year on Air New Zealand found it to be a really good airline. Hopefully the pay issues with the employees does not effect the excellent service my wife and I experienced when traveling with them.