Air New Zealand will bring its central Auckland team into the heart of its operation, future-proofing its infrastructure and reducing its property costs via a multi-year investment at its Auckland airport base. The airline will begin building a new aircraft hangar and has approved in-principle a project to centralise its Auckland workforce at a refurbished airport campus. The four-year investment will create a world-class aviation facility for Air New Zealand employees and its aircraft as the airline rebuilds.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says this dual investment is part of its long-term strategy to unleash the airline’s full potential. “We’ve spent the last two years looking at how we can set ourselves up for success as we revive our airline. We know we work best when we work together, and we have plenty of underutilised space at the airport campus to make that happen. We’ll be creating an environment where the people who plan our future work alongside those who operate our aircraft and work with our customers every day. Globally, this way of working is delivering exceptional results for customers and shareholders, and this is the right time to get ready for a move as we prepare for the global recovery in aviation.”
Foran says the majority of Air New Zealanders are based in Auckland and it’s expected they’ll move to the airport campus in 2024. “We have more space than we need in the Auckland CBD and are already paying for a precinct at the airport that has more than enough space to meet even our most ambitious growth projections. With building costs increasing and our CBD leases coming to an end, this is the time to get started on the work to bring our people together. The way people work has changed – this is our opportunity to set up a world class hybrid work environment, with cutting edge digital technology so our people have the right tools to build on our history of innovation and deliver great experiences for our customers.”
Moving the city office to the airport will consolidate office space, significantly reducing the airline’s property footprint, and reducing costs by 20 percent over 15 years. After design and construction phases, the move is likely to occur in 2024. Construction of the hangar will begin this year.
“Rather than building a brand-new space, we’re refurbishing the existing one to bring our people together. There’s a lot of history in the current building, and if walls could talk, they’d have some terrific success stories to tell. We want to hold on to that and celebrate the history of the airline,” Foran said.
The new 10,000m2 engineering facility – called Hangar 4 – was first announced in 2019 and will be world-leading in sustainability, with a 6-star green rating and the largest single span timber arch aircraft hangar in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We’re confident that our long-haul operation will return so investing now in a new Hangar that will be large enough to house a 787 and two A320s side-by-side in one space makes complete sense. It’s also been designed by our engineering and maintenance employees to ensure it’s suitable for them and the work they need to do,” Foran said. “Our existing hangars were built in the 1960s and 1980s and, while they have served us well, our fleet has changed over the decades. We now have a need for a more modern, innovative structure that takes energy use and other sustainability factors into account.”