27 Jun 2012

Airways transforming to business model - CEO

6:59 am on 27 June 2012

State-owned air traffic control operator Airways New Zealand says it has put in place a plan to double revenue and triple its profitability.

The company has run a full page newspaper advertisement calling for people to apply for 14 senior jobs in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

Chief executive Ed Sims says the organisation needs to change to make sure it is strong enough to weather the many economic and technological challenges expected to emerge over the next 10 years.

He says from its evolution Airways, which 20 years ago was part of the Ministry of Transport, has been an exceptional provider of technical and operational services to clients but fundamentally has not been a great business model.

Mr Sims says he took a transformation strategy to the board in October.

"The proposition I took to the board was that they had the opportunity, potentially, to double its revenue, even triple its profitability, but without doing it at the expense of our airline customers.

"And the way to achieve that is by driving our exports, by driving our unregulated revenue and by taking advantage of a lot of opportunities in the Middle East and in China. And to do that I need expertise, I need capability, and I need a lot of drive and ambition to come into the organisation."

Mr Sims says the advertised positions are a combination of Airways' expansion plans plus a recognition it actually needs to be moving from roles that were technical service providers to roles that are genuine business managers.

He says in the process some people may leave, some people will change roles and a new generation of private sector style business manager and leaders will come into the organisation.

Mr Sims says the rollout of GPS satellite systems, starting in the far south, should be in place in November.