Air New Zealand is celebrating its best annual result in its 76-year history by paying out $20.5 million in staff bonuses.

The airline this morning reported a 40 per cent boost in full-year pre-tax profit of $663 million on the back of higher passenger numbers due to the ongoing tourism boom and lower fuel prices.

Employees not covered by existing incentive programmes will get a bonus of up to $2500 to recognise the record profit. Air New Zealand said 8200 staff members will be part of the scheme.

Watch: Air NZ boss Christopher Luxon talks about the airline's record result, the airline and recent staff misconduct :

It's unclear whether the bonus would be paid out to one of three staff members involved in embarrassing social media postings. One of the trio is still with the airline, the other two are no longer with the company.

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Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said he couldn't comment on whether that person would be eligible for the $2500 bonus while the inquiry is being held.

A spokesman for aviation union E Tu said the bonus for staff was "fantastic news" for the union's members.

"Everyone from the boardroom to the bag-room is being recognised for this stunning result."

Ways to spend a $2500 bonus:



Luxury fashion

Louis Vuitton Alma handbag.
Louis Vuitton Alma handbag.

Fashion-conscious women could see the surprise $2500 bonus as a chance to get their hands on a coveted designer handbag. The Louis Vuitton Alma handbag, named after the Parisian bridge, is one of the most recognisable handbags from the French designer. They cost around $2400.

New TV

TV and movie fans could take the bonus as a chance to upgrade the home entertainment system. A 55 inch 4K Sony television will set you back $2444.

Holiday time

Some of the employees could see the bonus as a chance to take some time off and enjoy a vacation. Taking a break on a cruise could be a welcome change of pace for airline staff. A 16-night cruise from Auckland to Singapore via Australia and Indonesia on P&O's Pacific Pearl would cost $2499.

A cruise on P&O Pacific Pearl from Auckland to Singapore would be a relaxing way to spend the bonus. Photo / Sarah Ivey
A cruise on P&O Pacific Pearl from Auckland to Singapore would be a relaxing way to spend the bonus. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Blow it all in a night!

This would be very irresponsible of course, and only if there's no flying the next day.

But a very fancy bottle of 1998 Krug champagne is a great decadent use of the Air NZ staff bonus (you'll need an extra $250 to pay on top though)

A Wine Spectator description on the Glengarry website describes the 1998 Blanc De Noirs Clos d'Ambonnay as "Exotic on the nose, with woodsy spice and bergamot notes, this luxurious Champagne is driven by vivid, crystalline acidity. A streak of salinity underscores the flavours of black currant pâte de fruit, whole-grain toast, clover honey and chopped almond. "

Photo / Donato Sardella /Getty
Photo / Donato Sardella /Getty