Air NZ vows change after NZ9 debacle

Last updated 18:34 06/08/2014

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Air New Zealand is interviewing pilots and cabin crew of the delayed NZ9 Honolulu flight which saw 223 passengers stranded for three days. 

The interviews - which are checking to see if staff were breaching the company's Code of Conduct, follow claims that some air crew were drunk during the prolonged stay.

There were two Air NZ Boeing 767 crews in Honolulu during the delays that started on Sunday and there have been anonymous claims some crew members were drinking as late as 5am and were ''trashed'', the New Zealand Herald reported.

It understood they would been unfit for duty at one stage even if their plane had been airworthy.

Today the airline completed its review of the delays as overseen by Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon.

The review found a series of shortcomings including customer communication and said that some of the staff may have failed to meet the standards of the airline. 

"I would like to apologise again to our customers whom we let down in Honolulu," Luxon said. "This disruption should have been managed better on many levels and some valuable lessons have been learned across our airline."

Luxon wrote to NZ9 customers today to outline the outcomes of the review, which include: 

  • Investment in a new communication system to provide better direct contact with customers affected by significant disruptions - one option is already being trialled.
  • The establishment of a team of staff with specialist skills and experience in large scale international disruption management to be dispatched to international ports at short notice to assist local teams in the event of a significant disruption.
  • Enhanced training in disruption management for all international airport management teams.
  • Interviews are underway with pilots and cabin crew who were in Honolulu during the disruption to determine whether there were any breaches of the company's Code of Conduct.
  • All Air New Zealand staff will be reminded of the company's Code of Conduct to ensure there can be no misunderstanding of expected standards.

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