New Air New Zealand CEO could be announced next month

September 25, 2019
Air NZ
Photo: Steve Creedy

Air New Zealand chairman Dame Therese Walsh expects to announce the airline’s new chief executive as early as October.

Outgoing chief executive Christopher Luxon ended his tenure at Wednesday’s annual meeting and acting chief executive Jeff McDowall has stepped into his shoes.

Dame Theresa said the global search for a new chief executive was progressing very well.

“There’s been a high level of interest for the role as you expect for a company of this caliber,’’ she said. “And the caliber of the candidates coming through is also very high.

“So we hope to make an announcement on a new chief executive officer in the next month or so in due course.”

READ: Jetstar pulls out of regional New Zealand

The retirement of current chairman Tony Carter means Air New Zealand is looking for a new director and dame Theresa said the company would make an announcement on that appointment shortly.

She said the new director would be up for re-election at the next annual meeting.

She paid tribute to outgoing chairman Tony Carter, saying he had shown “great and outstanding leadership” during his tenure.

Air New Zealand this week firmed up an order for eight Boeing 787-10s powered by GEnx-1B engines.

The deal was announced in May and the planes will replace the airline’s current fleet of Boeing 777 -200 aircraft.

Luxon said the multi-billion-investment was a game-changer for the airline, offering a 25 percent fuel improvement over the aircraft it replaced and opening new opportunities for future network growth.

The order saw AirNZ turn its back on Rolls-Royce after it suffered significant disruptions to its operations due to problems with the Trent 1000 engines on its existing Dreamliners.

The agreement was worth about $US2.7 billion at list prices but Air New Zealand would have negotiated a significant discount.

The first of the new 787-10s is set to join the fleet in 2020 and the airline has options that allow it to boost the order to 20 planes.