New Zealand to support Air NZ in capital raise

by Christine Forbes Smith
February 12, 2021
New Zealand
Photo: Steve Creedy.

The New Zealand government has confirmed that it will participate in the airline’s capital raise to support it through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh, the Crown said that subject to Cabinet being satisfied with the terms of Air New Zealand’s proposed equity capital raise to be completed by 30 June 2021, it would participate in that equity capital raise in order to maintain a majority shareholding in Air New Zealand.

In the letter, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson recognized the importance of a strong domestic air travel network for economic and social development purposes and the key role of Air New Zealand in supporting our international tourism and export industries.

The minister also highlighted Air New Zealand’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the airline’s role as a good employer.

Air New Zealand has been the country’s most popular employer for over a decade and has been the winner of countless awards including US-based Air Transport World’s Airline of the Year in 2010 and 2012 as well as this website’s Airline of the Year every year, except 2019, since 2014.

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In a statement, Air New Zealand’s Dame Therese said she was delighted with the confirmation of support from the Crown and the continued positive engagement.

“We are grateful for the loan arranged with the Crown in May last year, but that was always a temporary measure. The ability to raise equity will help set the airline up for recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 and to continue to fulfill its purpose of connecting New Zealanders to each other and New Zealand to the world.” Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said that “Air New Zealand is a national asset for New Zealand and must be supported through this pandemic.”

“There is no question it is the best airline in the world and New Zealand will rely heavily on it coming out of this pandemic.”

“Around the world, too many airlines are being forced to make permanent cuts to their staff and assets which will significantly damage their ability to compete in the years to come,” Mr. Thomas said.

“On the flip side countries like Germany and Singapore are supporting their airlines allowing them to raise the capital needed to fly through the pandemic with minimal losses of staff and aircraft.”