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Outgoing Air NZ CEO says he identifies with National Party but has 'no master plan' to run for office

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon says he's "not ruling out" going into politics, adding that he identifies with National despite not being a member of any party yet.

Mr Luxon yesterday evening announced he will resign from the airline on September 25 - after seven years in the role.

In his departing statement, he said he was "incredibly proud" of what Air New Zealand has achieved under his leadership, as well as  also hinting at the possibility of going into politics.

"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," he said yesterday.

But Mr Luxon remained tight-lipped on exactly what his plans were when talking to TVNZ1's Breakfast today. He did, however, confirm confirm he is "a pretty centrist kind of guy" and identifies with the National Party most.

"I'm not a member of a party," he said. "Despite what you read, there's no deal, there's no master plan that's in place. What there is is me, frankly, sitting there saying, 'Look, I'm 48 years old, I've lived 16 years overseas, I love solving problems and realising opportunities through people'.

"One of the things I will consider when I finish at Air New Zealand at the end of the year is politics, and I think I'm just interested in New Zealand doing well and it's about thinking about how I can best make a contribution around that."

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He has spent seven years at the helm of the national carrier. Source: Breakfast

Less than a month ago, though, Mr Luxon said he remained loyal to Air New Zealand and denied he was running as a National candidate for Botany.

"There's no plan for me to run in Botany, as I said I'm not a member of any political party," he said today. "All I'm trying to say is I've got to finish with Air New Zealand strongly, I've made that decision really clearly.

"I appreciate all the speculation, and I appreciate all the energy and lots of people with lots of ideas about what I could do ... What I'm trying to say now is I'm not ruling it out, which is what I was before."

Mr Luxon said he had had "general" conversations with former Air NZ CEO, National Party leader and Prime Minister John Key, who had given him "a lot of advice".

"I'm friendly with a lot of politicians across the spectrum and John has become a good friend over the years," Mr Luxon said. 

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

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Christopher Luxon talks to TVNZ1’s Breakfast about his departure from the airline and what’s next. Source: Breakfast