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Auckland, New Zealand - Air New Zealand expects its Boeing 777s to remain grounded until April 2021. As a result, the airline plans to lay off nearly 1000 flight attendants from its international fleet.

The number of employees who work on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet will also be reduced. Service manager roles will reduce from 157 to 142, and flight attendant numbers will be cut from 514 to 443.

"Based on our forecasted schedule over the next 12 months which includes significantly reduced international travel, we are proposing a reduction of 950 wide-body cabin crew roles," 

The Air New Zealand crew were told in a video message.

The proposal is based on the assumption that there will be a relatively slow return of demand to international travel with no passenger flying on the 777 until April 2021.

The airline told staff it couldn't accommodate the large cost of carrying such significant numbers of the surplus crew", and while it was open to expressions of interest for those willing to take leave without pay, large cuts would still be needed.

"Based on the forecasted schedule we would still have an unimaginable level of surplus crew," 

the message said.

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