Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon resigns, hints at possible move into politics

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon has resigned this evening.

Source: 1 NEWS

A statement from Air New Zealand says he will will step down from day to day leadership of the airline on September 25.

The airline says Mr Luxon will continue to advise the incoming CEO and help them in their new role after he steps down.

Mr Luxon says he is "incredibly proud" of what Air New Zealand has achieved under his leadership.

"Our customer centricity, commercial focus, and highly engaged culture have made Air New Zealand the most revered company in our part of the world as reflected in our corporate reputation rankings on both sides of the Tasman.

"It has been an awesome journey and what we have achieved by working together with a common goal of supercharging New Zealand’s success economically, environmentally and socially has been nothing short of remarkable," Mr Luxon says.

He also talked about his reasons for stepping down from the role and what's next for him.

"I know I am going to get a lot of questions about where to next for me, so I am keen to be quite upfront about that," he said. "Obviously, job number one is to stay focused and finish strongly at Air New Zealand so we are set up for more success going forward.

"Then I’m going to take the summertime to refresh and recharge, and then reflect on what I will do next.

"I am now 48 years old and my wife Amanda and I are at an interesting time in life. Our children will both have finished high school and so we will have a new degree of freedom, including career choices.

"Thus, I would like to think more about how I can best use my skills, abilities and experience to make a further contribution to the success of New Zealand whether that be through corporate life, politics or a not for profit."

In a statement to 1 NEWS tonight, a National Party spokesperson declined to speculate about which party Mr Luxon is affiliated with. 

"We don't comment on who or who isn't a member of the National Party. We have conversations with many people, and we don't comment on those either.

"Mr Luxon's future is a matter for him, and I'm sure we'll all see what happens in the fullness of time."

Mr Luxon currently chairs the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council that "provides free and frank advice to the Prime Minister on key economic issues."

The news comes as Air New Zealand retained the top spot as the most attractive employer in New Zealand for the third consecutive year and has now won the title six times in a survey by recruitment and HR company Randstad.