By NICK PERRY
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s flagship airline has announced a plan to raise $1.5 billion to hire more staff, buy new planes and expand its routes as it seeks to rebuild from deep losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Air New Zealand’s shares were put in a temporary trading halt ahead of the announcement on Wednesday. As well as being used to invest in the business, some of the new money will be used to pay back government loans. The government announced earlier this month that the nation would reopen to tourists from the U.S. and many other countries by May 1 as the pandemic threat recedes.