Ansett New Zealand resumes flying after pilots give in


Ansett New Zealand, which had been reduced to flying a minimal schedule in the second half of September after locking-out its pilots, is slowly resuming services. The pilots, who had been refusing to sign a new contract, capitulated on 14 October after it became clear the airline would be able to replace them, thanks in part to the availability of former Debonair crews. The new contract increases flying hours and cuts allowance payments. Reductions in pilots numbers are also expected. Full resumption of service was delayed by the need to obtain union ratification of the new contract (achieved on 24 October) and then by the need to re-train many of the pilots, who had lost currency during the monthlong lockout. The victory is a pyrrhic one for Ansett NZ, which has admitted its losses during the strife far exceed the estimated savings the new contract will bring.

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