CHRISTOPHER LUXON, AIR NEW ZEALAND CEO
Thank you for the opportunity to write this month’s guest editorial. It’s a real privilege and demonstrates just how far we’ve come in both union and company efforts to build a stronger relationship between Air New Zealand and the New Zealand pilot community.
This close working relationship was never better highlighted than during the recent fuel crisis. Without the support of NZALPA and the co-operation of many pilot members we wouldn’t have been able to reduce the impact on our wider network by consolidating services and tankering fuel into Auckland.
Our ability to respond to the numerous schedule changes and cancellations across our domestic and international networks ensured this event had nowhere near the negative impact it could have. I want to extend my personal thanks to NZALPA members for their support during this very challenging time.
The fuel crisis reminds me that running an airline is a total team sport, and there are lots of players in our Air New Zealand team who have dedicated positions they play superbly well. Pilots play one of those important positions - flying our planes brilliantly, projecting leadership and delivering our customer experience. Our pilots are incredibly committed, loyal and invested in the airline because you often choose to build your whole career at Air New Zealand, and so really care about how we’re growing and developing as a business.
I’m personally committed to making Air New Zealand a great place to be a pilot. I’m really encouraged by our progress and embracing of High Performance Engagement (HPE), yet I know there is more to do. In February, we will run our annual Your Voice employee engagement survey. I encourage all our pilots to take the time to provide honest feedback – it’s vital for us to hear your voice on the things we’re doing well and the things we could improve on.
Most things about Air New Zealand can ultimately be copied by our competitors. However, engaged and committed people delivering our uniquely Kiwi service is the one thing no competitor can copy. I’m immensely proud of the way our pilots step up during challenging times such as disrupt situations and look out for the best interests of our customers and crew. The steady flow of positive feedback and photos we receive through our social media channels demonstrates just how much of an impact you can have on a customer’s journey.
I’m very conscious that we are now headed into our busiest time of the year so thank you in advance for your service over the holiday season. We have an exciting year planned for further growth at Air New Zealand in 2018 which in turn creates individual opportunities for our pilots too. I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and holiday season.
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