Flight Centre NZ to make around 230 staff redundant

Source: 1News

Flight Centre New Zealand will make around 230 staff redundant when the Government's wage subsidy scheme ends at the end of August.

A Flight Centre shopfront (file).

The business began consultation two weeks ago with the 300 staff who were furloughed at the time, Stuff reports.

Under the Government’s wage subsidy scheme Flight Centre received $6.5 million for 940 staff and a further $3 million for 850 staff from the wage subsidy extension.

Flight Centre NZ managing director David Coombes said the redundancies were not a decision that was made lightly.

“We had every intent to bring our people back, but border controls have continued beyond all original expectations, and meaningful work for the scale of employees that we once had will not return for some time,” he said.

“After consulting with those affected, it became clear that redundancy was the only viable option.”

“Too often over recent months have I had to say that this is the most difficult day in Flight Centre New Zealand’s history, yet here we are again. The impact Covid-19 has had on our industry and our business has forced us to take actions that were previously unimaginable.”

In April, Flight Centre stood down 300 staff and closed 58 shops.

Flight Centre said in a statement that "job losses affected all staff who were stood down on to the wage subsidy earlier this year".

Mr Coombes said Flight Centre NZ had been fighting for additional Government support for the industry.

“Unfortunately, we’ve not had that yet from our Government,” he said.

“Our people are still working tirelessly to assist Kiwis with cancelled travel plans and repatriation. Each day there are new cases of Kiwis stuck abroad where the experience of our travel experts is vital in getting them home safely.”