15 Jul 2005

Air New Zealand cancels Pacific flights due to strike action

1:56 pm on 15 July 2005

Air New Zealand has cancelled flights to Fiji, Hawaii, French Polynesia, Samoa and the Cook Islands next week, owing to planned strike action.

Around a thousand cabin crew members plan to start a series of 48 hour strikes, over a pay offer from the company, and over working conditions.

They begin with the flight to Honolulu on Monday, Wednesday's flight from Apia and Thursday's flight to Nadi.

Air New Zealand has been contacting all of the 15 thousand passengers it says will be affected.

The General Manager of the airline's international division, Ed Sims, says at this stage, it's too late to avert the strike.

"We made it very plain to FARSA (Flight Attendants and Related Services Association) on Wednesday evening that the strike could not be averted from Wednesday night. So I'm very confident that we can resolve the basis of the dispute. But to be honest with three days before the first strike there is no realistic chance of the strike being averted."

The strikes will also hit flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.