John Gissing will retire as CEO of QantasLink after almost 25 years with the Flying Kangaroo.
Gissing, who is stepping down in November, has served as QantasLink CEO since April 2012, as well as Qantas Group Executive Associated Airlines & Services since 2015. He was previously a founding member of Jetstar’s executive team.
Qantas has commenced a search for a new QantasLink CEO, though Gissing will continue to be available to the group CEO for 12 months as an adviser after his retirement.
“On behalf of the Group, I’d like to sincerely thank John Gissing for his massive contribution over nearly 25 years with us and almost 40 years in Australian aviation,” said Qantas Group CEO-designate Vanessa Hudson.
“We’re fortunate to have access to his experience as an adviser after he formally retires from his current role at the end of this year.”
Gissing departs QantasLink as the regional airline continues to phase out its Boeing 717s in favour of 29 new Airbus A220-300s, which have 25 per cent more seats – 137, compared to 110 on the 717 – as well as twice the range and 28 per cent lower fuel burn per seat. The first A220 is expected to arrive later this year.
Speaking to reporters last month, Gissing described the retirement of the 717 as “bittersweet”, and said the last one will leave by next July.
“It’s an amazing aeroplane. It’s been the backbone of the regional operation for some time,” he said. “But today is about renewal, and the A220 is also an amazing aeroplane. Like the 717, it is a game changer for the regional jet operation.”
The news comes amid a broader reshuffle of Qantas’s C-suite as incoming CEO Vanessa Hudson prepares to take the helm in November.