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September 24, 2012

Air New Zealand flight manager fired for derogatory remark on UAE

     Sydney: Helena Watson, a flight services manager with 26 years experience with Air New Zealand, has been sacked by Employment Relations Authority for sarcastically ridiculing UAE through her comments during which she referred to the stoning practice in the country. Watson was also accused of attempting to board an Emirates aircraft at Auckland International Airport without permission. According to Air New Zealand, Watson had spoken sarcastically to staff aboard the plane and abused her security clearance, which amounted to serious misbehaviour. It has been revealed how Watson when waiting for the departure of her own flight to Rarotonga, saw an Emirates flight at an adjacent boarding gate using a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, and as Air New Zealand was due to get the same model of plane, she asked to have a look on board. Although her request was declined, Watson continued down the airbridge and picked up a document containing the Emirates crew list before leaving. When approached a short while later by an Emirates representative who asked why she had attempted to go on the plane, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Watson, as replying: "Curiosity, do you know how to spell it?" Watson's unexpected actions sparked concern from the Emirates captain, who asked to speak with her. On her return from that conversation, Watson told another Air New Zealand staff member: "What a bloody fuss...you would have thought they were going to stone me." Emirates later complained to Air New Zealand , which began the investigation resulting in her dismissal. Air New Zealand said Watson's actions were partly responsible for the late departure of her own flight. It found Watson had breached her obligations to act in such a way as to maintain and promote the company's image, and to act with integrity, trust, and respect and in accordance with the law.
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