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Air New Zealand: Reductions to executive team

Air New Zealand: Reductions to executive team

Air New Zealand is reducing the size of it’s executive team in line with the expectation that the operations of the airline will be reduced for the next few years.

“As we have done in all parts of our business, we are creating the structure that is appropriate for
an airline which we expect will take two years to get back to 70 percent of its former size. On that
basis I have reduced the size of the Executive team from nine to six,” Mr Foran says.

Greg Foran, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer

Greg Foran, the CEO has only been in his job since February 2020, after a five-year stint as head of Walmart USA.

The following Air New Zealand executives will go, with their responsibilities being absorbed by other remaining executives.

  • Nick Judd – Chief Strategy Networks and Alliances Officer – gone by 31 May
  • John Whittaker – Chief Air Operations and People Safety Officer – gone by 31 July.
  • Mike Tod – Chief Marketing and Customer Officer gone from full-time position by 31 May – but will provide advisory serves to the CEO during the transformation

“Nick, John and Mike have made an outstanding contribution to the airline with a combined 68
years of service at Air New Zealand. “

The CEO thanked them for their service and contribution to the reputation of Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is expected to reduce its overall workforce by 30%. which means reducing a pre-COVID-19 workforce of 12,500 by close to 4,000 staff.

2PAXfly Takeout

The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.

It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.

This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.

Air New Zealand isn’t the first, and won’t be the last to use this period for a bit of a senior executive cleanout. Lets just hope that the talent drain doesn’t affect operations into the future, remembering that Greg Foran has only been there for three or so months.

While having sympathy for all airline staff who already have, or are soon to lose their jobs due to the pandemic, my sympathy goes more to the frontline staff than to well-remunerated executives.

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