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Air NZ To Use Entirely Chinese Crew AKL-PVG  
User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6818 times:

Hi all,

NZ has confirmed to staff today a badly-kept secret - a cabin crew base will be established in Shanghai to operate the PVG-AKL-PVG services when they commence in November.

What has surprised us is - and I stress the information is still new and patchy, so MAY change or have been interpreted incorrectly - that it appears ALL CABIN CREW on these services will be Chinese-based, including the Flight Service Manager and Inflight Service Coordinator.

I find this surprising - particularly given CEO Norris and Fyfe's stressing of the 'unique Kiwi experience' our cabin crew offer passengers, and their stressing it as a point of difference and tremendous advantage in our favour. But, I'm interested to know whether a.net members feel the decision, if I'm correct in my interpretation of it, is a mistake? Bear in mind that it NZ expects 70-75% of traffic to be Chinese-language passengers.

As an NZ f/a I'm disappointed not to have a new destination to crew, so naturally my view may be biased by that. But it seems to me a mix of NZ natives and Chinese nationals would have been a better way to go - perhaps the FSM and ISC as kiwis, 1 Business Class crew member and 1 or 2 economy, with 4-5 Chinese nationals? Without any Kiwis on board, one of the reasons for choosing a carrier - to get a taste of the national flavour and hospitality - is completely gone. Of course there are economic reasons for choosing to establish this base - it will save a lot of money. But will it do more harm than good?

Your views? (It would be great if they could be free of NZ-bashing or bootlicking, vitriol, overbearing language, etc - but I'm not holding my breath)


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40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAnsettB727 From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6783 times:

Quoting TG992 (Thread starter):
it appears ALL CABIN CREW on these services will be Chinese-based

The thread title and your quote above seem to contradict one another. There's a difference between "Chinese" and "Chinese-based". Might I be right in thinking they will base NZers in China (who happen to be multi-lingual), just like QF has Aussies (and Brits) based in London?


User currently offlineNZ8800 From New Zealand, joined May 2006, 425 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6773 times:

If all the crew are to be based in Shanghai, does that necessarily mean that all crew will be local?
I think a mix of New Zealanders and Chinese Flight Attendants would be the best mix too... as the flag carrier, Air New Zealand should be giving a New Zealand experience from the moment they board, rather like Air Pacific's Island In The Sky theme. And I think the Chinese people flying to our shores would expect the same - be in New Zealand as soon as they get on board in Shanghai.
On the whole I agree with you TG992, being non-airline based am not sure why a few NZ crew could not get work permits and be based from China - would this be possible?



MDZWTA ~ Mobile Disaster Zone When Travelling Abroad
User currently offlineKdm From New Zealand, joined Feb 2006, 115 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6767 times:

I think it is a good thing. New Zealand is now such a multi cultural country that I think this decision is an open statement to how mixed New Zealand is.

User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6742 times:

I think all international carriers should have mixed crews on their intercontinetal flights. At least if they fly between two completely different cultures like NZ and China.

I think it is ok for an englishmen with LH to the USA. But I also think that LH (as an exemple) has to deploy some fluent mandarine crew with a general understanding of the Chines culture on their flights to Beijing and Shanghai.


User currently offlineFly2CHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

I would see it operating as the LHR crew base, whereby they will send New Zealanders up to Shanghai to operate the legs from there (be they Chinese speakers or not). I cannot imagine the crew will all be of Chinese nationality. If they were, I couldn't agree more with you TG992 - Air NZ would be losing one of their key points of service differentiation; the Kiwi experience!

Can't really see the financial benefit though. Is it really cheaper to pay crew Chinese wages and slip crew in Auckland (instead of Shanghai)?

As an aside, do you know what will be happening crew wise on the new HKG-LHR service? Presumably it will be crewed by the London crew base (they will no doubt appreciate this variety from merely than LA), or do you guys get to go back to London?


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9607 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 6715 times:

Quoting TG992 (Thread starter):
I find this surprising - particularly given CEO Norris and Fyfe's stressing of the 'unique Kiwi experience' our cabin crew offer passengers, and their stressing it as a point of difference and tremendous advantage in our favour. But, I'm interested to know whether a.net members feel the decision, if I'm correct in my interpretation of it, is a mistake? Bear in mind that it NZ expects 70-75% of traffic to be Chinese-language passengers.

This flight is catering to the Chinese. If I understand right, the flight will have a lot of Chinese tourists. How many NZ FA's speak Mandarin, let alone people in all of New Zealand? I love the Kiwi experience offered by Air New Zealand, but if you don't speak English, it will not be appreciated very much. Chinese tourists can go to other destinations in the world and fly on one of their own airlines where they do speak their own language if they want. This move might just be necessary to keep Air New Zealand competitive.

I wonder if the Shanghai flight attendants will work for less. Shanghai isn't a cheap city to live in, but AKL isn't either since so many things in New Zealand are so overpriced.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6683 times:

Quoting AnsettB727 (Reply 1):
The thread title and your quote above seem to contradict one another. There's a difference between "Chinese" and "Chinese-based". Might I be right in thinking they will base NZers in China (who happen to be multi-lingual), just like QF has Aussies (and Brits) based in London?

That's why I mentioned the info is, at this point, ambiguous - however, I can't see Air NZ being able to find 64 Kiwis/English speakers in China who want to work as flight attendants. You don't move to China to become airline crew.

Quoting Fly2CHC (Reply 5):
Can't really see the financial benefit though. Is it really cheaper to pay crew Chinese wages and slip crew in Auckland (instead of Shanghai)?

Yes, especially since they'll only be slipping for one night in AKL as opposed to AKL crew slipping for 2/3 in PVG.

Quoting Fly2CHC (Reply 5):
As an aside, do you know what will be happening crew wise on the new HKG-LHR service? Presumably it will be crewed by the London crew base (they will no doubt appreciate this variety from merely than LA), or do you guys get to go back to London?

The intention is for LHR base to crew the flights, but a number of airlines are recruiting in the UK at the moment. NZ doesn't intend to lower it's standards for crew recruiting, so they've let us know that we MAY be doing the route for a few months if the calibre of applicants in LHR drops.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 6):
How many NZ FA's speak Mandarin, let alone people in all of New Zealand? I

I believe we have about 40-50 Mandarin speaking crew, who cover SIN and HKG. The Shanghai base will be comprised of 50 cabin crew, 7 ISCs, and 7 FSMs.

Quoting NZ8800 (Reply 2):
On the whole I agree with you TG992, being non-airline based am not sure why a few NZ crew could not get work permits and be based from China - would this be possible?

Again, the info we've got is somewhat ambiguous in its wording. It DID mention that transfer opportunities MAY be available in the future, but I don't know anything about work permits etc in Shanghai. The transfers may only be available to Mandarin-speaking crew (90% of whom are Chinese-born).



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User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6680 times:

Hmm,

I say whatever is best for your passengers. If they prefer Chinese speaking flight attendants then give it to them and use it as a competetive advantage. I suppose load factors and yields will tell if NZ management's decision is right in the long run.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineFLYACYYZ From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1914 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6652 times:

Can NZ management decide to unilaterally open up a PVG base, or does this have to be agreed upon with local unions? I remember than when their London base opened, it was a bit of a contentious issue amongst flight crews. It's obvious a $$$ issue, as there must be qualified and mandarin speaking individuals in NZ who would desire the job.


Above and Beyond
User currently offlineOnedude From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 214 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6519 times:

I see this to be the future problem. If NZ went the way of offering this as a flight crewed ex AKL, maybe given the seniority of the route, the quick turnaround and the $$ to be made in the crew local payment, you might end up with very senior crew with very little interest in the flight. Don't flame me for this as it is hypothetical, however one only needs to look at QF and the NRT runs to see what has happened there, and why many Japanese pax do not fly this sector against JL.

Cheers,
onedude


User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12109 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6486 times:
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This really surprises me. Would have thought it would be half kiwis and have Chinese. This will encourage more Chinese to fly NZ thou.

User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4954 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6473 times:

Quoting TG992 (Reply 7):
I believe we have about 40-50 Mandarin speaking crew, who cover SIN and HKG.

Are these F/A's confined contractually to SIN and HKG services? I thought flight crews could bid on routes and those with seniority got first choice.Is it different at NZ? If a Mandarin speaking F/A with seniority wanted AKL-HNL could they be denied this?


User currently offlineBroocy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 6401 times:

While not wanting to pre-judge this annoucement as the full details are not out, I find it worrying that the whole crew will be PVG based. Firstly I fully support the use of targetted overseas crew bases to provide a level of service to foreign customers. Having crew members from both ends of the route is important.

That said, NZ is a multicultural country and I am sure that there are enough people of all back grounds with the linguistic and cultural abilities to provide at least some of the staff ex NZ. To me, this looks more like outsourcing to a lower wage country. It also limits the opportunities of NZ based staff who have Chinese skills to use them. I am fairly certain that the Chinese gov't will not be too keen at granting work permits for NZ'ers who want to live in China.

I can't ever imagine being served by a cabin crew full of Europeans if I boarded an SQ flight. It's not part of their brand. Somehow to board an NZ flight, and have the real prospect of nothing but an Asian crew, without Paheka, Maori or Polynesian faces and the associated cultural links to this nation, doesn't seem right. It would deny the tourists an important first link to their visitor experience and reduce the "exotic" factor of the NZ experience for them.

The difference with the LON bases mentioned is that both QF and NZ can draw upon thousands of expats as well as locals. They can easily achieve a mix. Same with QF's jetconnect service here in NZ. While there are differences between Aussies and Kiwis, the cultural links are very close with a deep understanding on both sides of the other.

Despite precedents being set, I personally feel that this is a step too far in overseas basing as I can't see there being the pool of talent in Shanghai that has the cultural links to NZ to provide the Antipodean service that Nz customers have come to expect.


User currently offlineSimpilicity From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6282 times:

Here comes the future !!!

Presume the chinese crew would work for about 1/10 what an NZ crew think they're worth.

Guess before not too long everyone flying anywhere near China will be using chinese crews, although Thai crews are supposed to be very very cheap.

Scary thing is chinese are taking over the world. Cars coming out of China cheaper than Korean ones. ARen't Boeing & airbus assembling some aircraft in China?


User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6270 times:

Guys, relax. This is a flight attendant rumour. I assume that if the f/a rumour network in NZ is as reliable as it is in the USA, all this advance specualtion and hysteria is just pure crap. There's a world of difference between opening a crew base in a foreign country and putting all-foreign-nationals as crew on your national carrier's flights. So, relax until you know the details.

That said, here's an educated guess. What you're afraid of isn't going to happen. (And saying that "You don't go to China to be a flight attendant," by the way, is completely wrong. American carriers have in the past had foreign crew bases which included Americans among them. I suspect that if you were to live in China and be paid an NZ wage in NZ currency, you might be able to maintain a nice standard of living!)


User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6253 times:

Quoting Onedude (Reply 10):
see this to be the future problem. If NZ went the way of offering this as a flight crewed ex AKL, maybe given the seniority of the route, the quick turnaround and the $$ to be made in the crew local payment, you might end up with very senior crew with very little interest in the flight.

Our rostering is not based on seniority, so this wouldn't happen.

Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 12):
Are these F/A's confined contractually to SIN and HKG services? I thought flight crews could bid on routes and those with seniority got first choice.Is it different at NZ? If a Mandarin speaking F/A with seniority wanted AKL-HNL could they be denied this?

Seniority counts for nothing in our bidding system - we can bid for one trip per month and that is assigned purely on 'last achieved request'. Yes, our language speaking F/A's could be denied their requested trip because of language requirements for the other flights.



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User currently offlineN754PR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6149 times:

Well, the pasengers should be happy as you just cant go wrong with Asian service, IF they have been trained well.

User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1985 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6131 times:

Well...I have done some reseach about asian and chinese people flying to HKG from SYD by either Qantas, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic. Cathay Pacific serves three times a day, Qantas serves two times day and Virgin Atlantic serves one times a day. I can see that lots of asians and chinese people prefer to fly Cathay Pacific because they feel more comfortable with chinese cabin crews. They are speaking in their native language and know what they want. That's a language barrier. Also, there are not many chinese people can speak english very well. They are afraid to speak to the foreign people...Remember in "Amazing race", we were suprised to see that lots of chinese people running away from foreign people. Hahah! That's why ANZ needs all chinese cabin crews so that chinese passengers can feel more comfortable in the air. This is the airline's job to make the customers satisfy and more comfortable in the plane. Chinese/asians have lots of money to spent for travelling around the world. New Zealand's population is so small and I dont think that there are lots of new zealanders flying to Asia for vacation.

ANZ has lots of asian ground staff in the SFO airport as well.

Qantas and Virgin Atlantic have lots of foreign people more than asian and chinese people to HKG from SYD. They are foreign airlines and do not have enough chinese food on the plane. (Believe me, chinese people told me that)



The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlinePlanemanofnz From New Zealand, joined Sep 2005, 1676 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6039 times:
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So what if the crew doing the PVG-AKL flights are Chinese. As long as they an speak english,or at least a few of them,then this should be fine. Will the pilots on this route be Chinese aswell?

On a seperate note, I reckon it'd be cool/funny if on all flights to/from NZ announcements were made in English and Maori! However I couldn't imagine landing in AKL on an NZ flight and all I heard over the speakers was Chinese.

Also, when are we going to get some real details about this PVG flight. We still haven't heard schedules and prices apart from a few people saying here and there that the flight will start in November. Why hasn;t anything been confirmed for this proposed flight yet?


User currently offlineFly2CHC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5954 times:

Quoting TG992 (Reply 7):
Yes, especially since they'll only be slipping for one night in AKL as opposed to AKL crew slipping for 2/3 in PVG

Why would NZ based crew be slipping for 2/3 nights in PVG as opposed to Chinese crew having 1 night in AKL? Thought all Asian destinations were a one night slip (provided there is a daily operation)? E.g. SIN, HKG


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7092 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 5790 times:

Personally, it would be nice to see a mix of NZ and Chinese nationals on board.

User currently offlineNZ560 From New Zealand, joined May 2006, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 5658 times:

Quoting TG992 (Thread starter):
Of course there are economic reasons for choosing to establish this base - it will save a lot of money

Now I know no one might know or they arnt allowed to post it but has anyone got any idea around how much it would save the airline over a year?



-OJL RIP Also to the 7 onboard
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3213 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 5477 times:

Quoting NZ560 (Reply 22):
Now I know no one might know or they arnt allowed to post it but has anyone got any idea around how much it would save the airline over a year?

Well yes, i can help you out because i just happen to have some wage figures for a couple of profession in china, that, in theory should be paid significantly higher than fa's.

Specialist doctor (rather than just a regular GP/MD, and because its beijing national hospital, THESE ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST!)- beijing national hospital. USD 180 per fornight.
Civil Engineer specialising in Air Conditioning - shanghai - USD 100 per fortnight.
These are educated jobs, these people travel for business and many of them have been forced to learn english for work and export purposes...so they're functioning at a level far beyond what would be required to be an FA for say, China Southern etc. So go figure. NZ could get absolute bargins and im sure some of the very best would be lining up to work for them if they say paid them, USD $7 000 a year. They'd speak flawless english, be very well presented, and have a good education.


I've also heard a rumor that the average jet pilot wage is around USD $5 000 per year, which would be in line with the above wages. NOW IT SHOULD BE STRESSED THESE ARE VERY GOOD WAGES, and people shouldn't discount just how much spending power that has in china. That being said, Shanghai is increasingly full of new money entreprenueral types, and there are currently 65 million people in china earning in excess of US $25 000 per year.
some have discovered the spirit of free enterprise and are earning grossly in excess of that figure, but, there is no shortage of cheap labor where needed.


User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3198 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5389 times:

If I were younger and that was my area, I'd love to relocate to Shanghai with NZ as cabin crew. Especially to partner up with some native Chinese colleagues and impart the Kiwi experience to some of those from our planet's largest nation.

Kia ora
MH



come visit the south pacific
25 Koruman : If the intended clientele of this flight is predominantly Chinese nationals, then this flight is doomed to fail. Air Tahiti Nui's financial modelling
26 NZ8800 : I'm afraid you may well be right Koruman. It does sound from the above posts that we are not looking at a particularly affluent market. However - Air
27 Post contains images TG992 : I'm pretty sure the board MAY have done some research into what yields they expect
28 Post contains links MotorHussy : Well given the fact that China is currently New Zealand's sixth largest inbound visitor market, it appears to me to be a well founded proposition to
29 Squid : Replacing 75% of the US based cabin crew with Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino cabin crew was as major part of restructuring NWA. But unfortunately the
30 NZ107 : I believe that having entirely Chinese crew is a bit over the top by NZ. IMO there certainly needs to be some NZ based staff to make the airline sound
31 Koruman : What do numbers of Chinese nationals or volumes of trade (in cheap manufactured rubbish) have to do with a profitable flight? NZ has 60 million sheep,
32 Xiaotung : Hi Koruman, I think your statement is unjustified. You don't think Air New Zealand have done more than enough research to make the move? You have quit
33 Lufthansa : Yeah i would have to agree... there is going to be a certain amount of NZ nationals that have invested in china or have interests in their business wi
34 GuyBetsy1 : I think this is a misconception here that asians want to fly with an airline that has asian crews? CX has 2 bases outside HKG. YVR and LHR. In YVR, t
35 FLYACYYZ : And soon there will be 3 -- YYZ. How do CX & NZ crews feel about offshore basing??
36 Zkpilot : No... Tech crew will remain AKL based. Same as LHR flights... whilst the cabin crew are LHR based, the Tech crew are all AKL based.
37 Post contains images HKGKaiTak : Mmmm, interesting thread. I'll declare that I'm a Chinese-Australian before we start ... I don't think the whole crew on the PVG flight will be Chines
38 FlyboyOz : What is VFR?
39 TG992 : Visiting Friends/Relatives.
40 OH-LGA : Visiting Friends and Relatives. Generally considered to be fairly low-yield, price sensitive travellers.
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