Air New Zealand posts first annual loss in 18 years, forecasts loss in 2021

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Air New Zealand Ltd on Thursday reported its first annual loss since 2002 and forecast a loss in fiscal 2021, hit by aircraft impairment charges and reorganisation costs from a coronavirus-fuelled slump in air travel.

On an underlying basis, excluding one-off charges, the airline posted a pretax loss of NZ$87 million ($57.59 million) in the 12 months ended June 30, compared with a profit of NZ$387 million a year earlier.

The result was better than the company’s forecast of up to NZ$120 million underlying loss.

The airline has cut 30% of its workforce, or 4,000 employees, and grounded many of its widebody planes since the coronavirus outbreak. ($1 = 1.5106 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru and Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)