Air New Zealand is laying off about half of its cabin crew which a union says has devastated those made redundant and risks losing the goodwill of those remaining.
About 1300 staff, some with up to four decades' experience, will go from across the airlines international, domestic and regional networks.
Out of 1600 long and mid-haul crew, 950 will lose their jobs as prospects for international services returning to anywhere near where they were are grim for at least a year.
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For domestic crew, 300 workers will be made redundant across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Regional airlines are also affected, with a combined loss of 97 jobs between Air Nelson and Mt Cook Airline. The cabin crew job losses follow 300 pilots being made redundant.
With more than half the airline's fleet grounded and international services down to about 5 per cent of normal large scale job losses were inevitable, but E tū union says the speed of the process has left workers angry.
The airline risked getting offside with the public over the layoffs at a time when it had applied for more than $70 million in wage subsidies and had a $900m Government bailout loan, said the union's assistant national secretary Rachel Mackintosh.
The taxpayer owns 52 per cent of Air New Zealand and there's an option to convert the loan to equity.
''You've got significant Government support. For a company of this importance this is a time to have even higher standards, not to rush things through.''
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Air New Zealand says there has been ample consultation, detailing the number of video conferences but there has been a breakdown in the consultation process which has largely averted industrial friction for the past decade.
''It's not just making people redundant but cutting into the good will they've had when they've had that support,'' said Mackintosh.
"Air New Zealand employees need the company to be much more transparent, accommodating, and compassionate if they are to build their way back to being a strong national carrier.
In March the airline said as many as 3500 among its 12500 staff could lose their jobs.
Air New Zealand today said the process had not been rushed and consultation had been ''very comprehensive'' and in good faith.
''We starting talking to staff and unions about these issues nine weeks ago and have done everything possible since then to collaborate and reduce the number of compulsory redundancies, including calling for voluntary exits, leave without pay, applying for the Government wage subsidy, and exploring redeployment and part-time options.''
A spokesman said the airline had worked with staff to establish a furlough scheme; however this was not supported by E tū.
''We will continue to work on a furlough option for our people, regardless.''
Staff had been able to seek clarity on all questions they had about the proposed changes to their employment, he said.
In addition to more than 700 meetings with managers, it had run 128 live streams for staff since March 16.
''Those leaving the business have all received a personal phone call from their manager and we also provided career transition assistance, financial planning information, and a range of wellbeing support tools,'' he said.
''We will continue to have constructive discussions with our staff and our four unions as we work to protect Air New Zealand's future and do our best to retain the 9000 jobs that remain."
Mackintosh says the union wants to sit with the airline and talk about the future. She said the High Performance Engagement system could work still at the company which has for years won awards for being the best place to work and for its corporate reputation on both sides of the Tasman.
''We've been consistently calling for the airline to engage properly not to just bulldoze and steam roll - there is always an opportunity to do that and get a relationship back on track.''
One E tū cabin crew member, who wishes to remain anonymous, says they are "absolutely devastated".
"Having seen first-hand the work done by our union members, and still having this result, is crushing. Air New Zealand values its staff less than its profit and shareholders, which so sad to see unfold."
"The company's process has been rushed, overbearing, heavy-handed, and uncompromising. I don't believe the feedback in the consultation process was ever truly evaluated or applied."
Airlines rely on service and the approach of crew to distinguish them from their rivals and Mackintosh said there was a risk that could be lost among those crew remaining.
''The really big difference for Air NZ has been its staff, they're devastated - you can't just look at numbers and how many tickets you're selling.''