June 17, 2020 / 10:06 PM / 17 days ago

Air New Zealand sees annual underlying loss of up to $77.5 million

FILE PHOTO: An Air New Zealand check-in area is seen at Nelson Airport on the first day of all New Zealand domestic regulations being lifted for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as strict border controls remain in place, in Nelson, New Zealand, June 9, 2020. REUTERS/Tatsiana Chypsanava

(Reuters) - Air New Zealand Ltd (AIR.NZ) on Thursday forecast an underlying loss of up to NZ$120 million ($77.50 million) for the financial year ending June 30, as it grapples with a plunge in air travel demand following the coronavirus outbreak.

The airline last month warned of an annual loss after it reported a slew of impairment charges it would take on its planes and a 30% cut in its workforce.

The COVID-19 outbreak has wiped out almost all commercial traffic, forcing carriers around the world to layoff employees and call for government aid to survive.

Air New Zealand said last week it was aiming to return to “healthy profits” by 2022 under a plan that includes flying fewer passengers and routes and possibly cutting more jobs.

The company will record a NZ$70 million non-cash gain in its full-year results related to the impact of foreign exchange movements on some of its unhedged debt, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru

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