An Air New Zealand executive hailed as the public face of the airline during the coronavirus pandemic has resigned after 19 years’ service.
Chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace, best known for his shoot-from-the-hip tweets, will depart at the end of the month.
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said, “Cam has advised me today that given the airline is now effectively a domestic carrier for the foreseeable future, he is resigning to pursue opportunities that meet his global career ambitions.”
Wallace, who has previously served as chief revenue officer and group general manager, will continue to provide “consultancy support” until the end of the year and will not be immediately replaced.
New Zealand website Stuff branded the popular executive “the public face of the airline during the coronavirus pandemic” and hailed his straight-talking style.
Australian Aviation has previously reported his candid tweets, which often reveal important news before it’s been cleared by its press officers.
“My very professional & hard working communications team sometimes would prefer that I was less active on social,” he joked this week.
“Under Cam’s leadership, Air New Zealand’s passenger, cargo and loyalty revenues have experienced unparalleled growth over the past six year,” added Foran. “He has been instrumental in developing new market opportunities, growing strategic alliance partnerships, expanding the loyalty footprint, and driving profitable growth throughout the airline’s business.”
The departure comes after new chief executive Foran culled his most senior executive team from nine to six in May, including the position of chief marketing officer.
Chief strategy networks officer, Nick Judd, and chief marketing officer, Mike Tod, left on 31 May, while people safety officer John Whittaker exited on 31 July.
In August, Australian Aviation reported how the airline has still yet to draw down on its $824 million government loan despite recording an enormous statutory loss before tax of $575 million for the last financial year.
The business said coronavirus travel restrictions sparked a 74 per cent drop in passenger revenue from April and caused it to spend $309 million grounding its 777-200ER fleet.
In more positive news, Air New Zealand on Monday restarted all of its Auckland routes when the region exited its second lockdown and shifted to lighter ‘alert level 2’ restrictions.
However, masks are now mandatory on all flights due to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern enforcing them on public transport.