1 Jul 2020

Auckland Airport plans further job cuts

1:30 pm on 1 July 2020

Auckland Airport is planning to shed more staff as it faces a hit of up to $90 million in one-off pandemic-related costs.

Auckland International Airport

Travellers at Auckland Airport prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

It said its operations had been completely upended by Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown and closure of borders, which have forced big cuts in staff, costs and income.

"We are a resilient business, but this is a global shock to aviation the likes of which we've never seen, and our organisation continues to be materially impacted," chief executive Adrian Littlewood said.

He said the airport's international business had shrunk to 5 percent of what it was six months ago, with the number of foreign airlines falling to 11 from 29.

Littlewood said the company had no choice but to cut staff numbers again, mainly in the infrastructure and operations teams, although no numbers were given.

One hundred and eighty jobs, 90 employees and 90 contractors went in the first round leaving 52.

Now another 34 positions, mainly in infrastrucutre and operations are being disestablished, although nine new ones will be created meaning a net loss of 25.

The airport has already cut its workforce by 25 percent, in addition to deferring $2 billion worth of capital projects, including terminal upgrades, aircraft facilities, and work on a second runway.

The company also raised $1.2b in new capital to reinforce its finances.

It now expects net one-off costs of between $50m to $90m covering redundancies, bad debts, and asset write downs. It said rent freeze costs for retailers in its terminals and other operators on its property would cost it between $66m and $72m.

However, the costs have been partly offset by an expected gain of up to $150m in the value of its property assets, and $4.3m in wage subsidies.

The airport had a profit of $274.7m last year, and analysts are picking somewhere in the region of $168m for the financial year just ended.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs