Air New Zealand crew too “trashed” and unfit for duty


It appears crew members of Star Alliance-member airline Air New Zealand had more than a good time in Waikiki nightclubs partying and drinking all night. Air New Zealand would not comment on anonymous claims that members of two crews who ended up in Honolulu were out drinking to as late as 5 am and were “trashed.”

Air New Zealand passengers stranded for days in Hawaii are last week. Latest revelations are that the crew was out drinking, making them unfit for duty even if the plane had been made airworthy.

Several crew who were in Hawaii this week to fly stranded passengers home are believed to have been warned that they were unfit to fly, after drinking.

The New Zealand based Weekend Herald understands that the airline would have been unable to assemble a full crew, even if the plane had been operational. This has sparked an internal investigation.

The crew’s breach of the 12-hour “bottle to throttle” no-drinking rule has prompted a stern warning from Air New Zealand managers, who say a “small group” is not living up to the airline’s standards.

“You are responsible for ensuring you are rested, fit and healthy and available to deliver the great service our customers expect and deserve,” airline bosses told them in a letter yesterday.

The standard staffing of a Boeing 767 is three pilots and seven cabin crew. Two crews were in Honolulu during the stranding.

In a media release yesterday, the airline said the delays with Flight NZ9 from Honolulu to Auckland were “entirely related” to ongoing engineering issues and challenges securing a necessary part.