23-Jun-2011 10:06 AM

Air New Zealand dismisses ash-damaged planes as 'malicious rumours'

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe has hit back at what he labelled "malicious rumours" out of Australia that the airline has grounded ash-damaged aircraft and is “dangerously” continuing to operate despite the ash clouds (NZPA, 23-Jun-2011). Air New Zealand services have to date not been as affected as other carriers. The airline is continuing to operate most services by flying below the ash cloud, despite burning more fuel by doing so. Mr Fyfe also took aim at Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s decision to send an email to Qantas’ 8 million frequent flyers justifying Qantas' decision to ground many of its aircraft and implying Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia were operating unsafely. Mr Fyfe said that as Mt Puyehue Cordon Caulle continued to erupt, ash clouds would continue to drift across the region possibly for weeks or months to come.

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