Airline Seeks Costs from Former Flight Attendant

Air-New-ZealandA Chinese former flight assistant, who lost a personal grievance case against Air New Zealand, is fighting to avoid paying $23,190, which is the legal cost of the airline.

In 2007, Chao Zeng lost her job as a flight attendant with Air NZ. In 2008, she claimed that the flight attendants of Shanghai were paid 75% less than their New Zealand counterpart and were only given one third of the allowances.

She then made a claim against the Air New Zealand to the Employment Relations Authority, which ruled on May 31 that there is no case against Air New Zealand.

Air NZ put forward their justification and responded to ERA that cabin staffs were not employed under Air NZ but they are employed by Beijing Airline Service Corporation.

The airline has now requested the ERA to ask Ms. Zeng to pay 40 % of its costs in the case.

Rob Towner, counsel for the airline said, “Ms. Zeng's case to the ERA was "doomed to failure" because she raised her grievance nearly 18 months after her employment was terminated and her real objective was to return to work here".

Former immigration Minister, Tuariki Delamere, who represented Ms. Zeng at the ERA said in his reply to Air NZ's application for costs that giving the airline costs would be unfair, as it had a lack of clean hands.