VICTOR RUIZ GARCIA/REUTERS
A trans-Tasman aviation lobby group set up earlier this year has appointed an industry outsider its first chief executive.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia executive director of policy, advocacy and innovation Alison Roberts has been named the first boss of Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ).
A4ANZ was set up in March as a collaboration between Air New Zealand and rival airlines Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, TigerAir Australia and Regional Express (Rex).
The trans-Tasman aviation lobby group was formed to tackle issues including the fees and facilities at airports they used.
READ MORE: Air New Zealand, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin join forces
A4ANZ chair Graeme Samuel said Roberts had a wealth of policy and industry collaboration experience.
Roberts’s background included experience developing and providing strategic advice on polcy directions, reviews and reforms by Government.
She was appointed after a “robust” recruitment process.
“Alison has a strong track record of championing the interests of her stakeholders in a complex, highly regulated industry, for an important sector of the economy,” Samuel said.
“It is this experience, along with her delivery of innovative solutions and community work, which makes Alison well-equipped to work with our member airlines to pursue regulatory reform on issues that impact the aviation sector and affect Australian and New Zealand travellers.
“The A4ANZ Board considered her experience well suited to the role, offering new perspectives to represent the aviation industry.”
Roberts started at A4ANZ next month.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon called out airport services and charges when the group was launched in March.
“Australia and New Zealand must compete for visitors on the world stage against many other attractive destinations,” Luxon said.
“To be competitive we must continue to improve cost and quality in all parts of the travel experience but we are constrained by a legacy of under investment and over recovery at key airports. A4ANZ will add its voice to that ambition,” he said.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce echoed the sentiment, saying: “Airport fees and charges continue to increase while airlines are offering fares at levels significantly cheaper than they were over a decade ago”.
“A4ANZ’s goal is to achieve regulatory reform that will promote a competitive and sustainable airline industry in the interests of Australian and New Zealand travellers,” Joyce said.