The Auckland Airport Board announced earlier this week that Carrie Hurihanganui has been appointed Chief Executive, the first woman to hold the position in the airport's 55-year history. She will take the helm in early 2021, succeeding Adrian Littlewood, who announced in May that he would be stepping down towards the end of this year.
The airport has confirmed that Littlewood will formally depart on 12 November. Mary-Elizabeth Tuck, the airport's General Manager of Corporate Services, will serve as interim CEO until Hurihanganui comes on board.
Hurihanganui is currently Chief Operating Officer of Air New Zealand, a position she has held for the last year. She has a total of 21 years' experience with the NZ flag carrier, and worked her way up from cabin crew, to heading the airports division, then airline operations, to Chief Ground Operations Officer, and finally her present role.
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran praised her "exceptional leadership skills and operational knowledge", saying: “It will be very sad to see her leave the company, but great to see her lead an organisation we work so closely with.”
Auckland Airport Chair Patrick Strange said that Hurihanganui's appointment would ideally see the airport through to the recovery in international aviation and travel. "She is a highly regarded leader in aviation who joins Auckland Airport following one of the most challenging times in its history," he said. "We are confident that her leadership, operational knowledge and focus on customer experience will ensure Auckland Airport's strong recovery from the pandemic and return to growth.”