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Qantas boosts female C-suite with new QantasLink boss

written by Jake Nelson | October 24, 2023

Rachel Yangoyan, Qantas. (Image: Qantas)

Qantas Group, Jetstar, and QantasLink will all have female CEOs following the appointment of Rachel Yangoyan as head of the Flying Kangaroo’s regional arm.

Yangoyan, who has been with the national carrier since 2003, recently led the “entry into service” program for Qantas’ fleet renewal, including the Airbus A220 fleet that will replace QantasLink’s ageing Boeing 717 aircraft. The first A220 is due to arrive by the end of this year.

Yangoyan, who is currently executive manager of fleet programs, will take over from outgoing QantasLink CEO John Gissing, who is stepping down in November after 25 years at Qantas including 11 years at the helm of the airline’s regional arm.

Her appointment at QantasLink will mark the first time it, Jetstar and Qantas Group as a whole will simultaneously have female CEOs, with Steph Tully heading up Jetstar and Vanessa Hudson at the helm of Qantas. Prior to the departures of Gissing and former group CEO Alan Joyce, only Jetstar had a female CEO, though Qantas’ loyalty arm was led by outgoing CEO Olivia Wirth.

“Qantas started in outback Australia, and it’s an honour to be taking on the role of QantasLink CEO and working with our people on improving how we serve regional communities as well as the resources sector,” said Yangoyan.


According to Hudson, Yangoyan has a “deep understanding of what it takes to run an airline”, and brings a lot of capability to the role.

“As CEO of QantasLink, she’ll be responsible for our regional and charter operations, which are key parts of our business and also key to the role we play in connecting remote parts of Australia,” Hudson said.

“This appointment completes the new leadership team structure we announced earlier in the year, which is focused on dealing with the challenges and opportunities now in front of us.”

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.

He will continue to be available to the group CEO for 12 months as an adviser after his retirement.

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