Jetstar is beefing up its New Zealand-based management to match its expansion and, no doubt, better handle its image problems.
Grant Kerr, an aviation executive with experience as general manager of Air Nelson, has been appointed head its New Zealand operations.
He will be based in Auckland and will report to Melbourne-based David Hall, who is Jetstar CEO Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Kerr will oversee the low-cost airline’s operations, customer experience and stakeholder relations in New Zealand with a staff of more than 500.
He will also be responsible for Jetstar’s community partnerships, such as the Flying Start charity programme.
Mr Hall says the appointment focuses on improving its New Zealand services and getting more people to fly more often.
Jetstar New Zealand now has a fleet of nine aircraft operating 400 domestic and 100 international flights each week.
“Jetstar has reached a scale where we are a viable and cost effective choice for both business and leisure travellers,” Mr Hall says.
“We want to improve the customer experience, in particular focusing on our on-time performance. While we have made some improvements in this area, we know our passengers want the assurance of consistent service as much as they want low fares. This will be a major priority for Grant and the team.”
Mr Kerr is expected to start in the new role in the second half of this year. He will join other recent senior appointments to the New Zealand team, including flight operations manager Richard Falkner, crew base manager Jo-Ann Day-Townsend and communications manager Phil Boeyen.
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