After what it calls “an extensive global search”, Air New Zealand has appointed Nikhil Ravishankar (pictured below) as its chief digital officer.

    Ravishankar is currently chief digital officer at Vector New Zealand, having led the company’s digital and information technology function and its transformation programme since 2017. Prior to this he was managing director at Accenture New Zealand and head of technology strategy at Telecom New Zealand (now called Spark).

    Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said he believed that Ravishankar will bring a wealth of knowledge and will be an excellent addition to the Air New Zealand executive team.

    “Digital will play an important role in our recovery from Covid-19, and as a key pillar in our strategy, we’ve got big plans for what we want to achieve in the digital space. Nikhil’s industry expertise will ensure we deliver on what we set out to do,” commented Foran.

    Ravishankar is a member of the AUT AUTEUR Influencer Network, on the board of New Zealand Asian Leaders and an advisory committee member of The Blues Foundation. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Auckland.

    In May, Air New Zealand and Air China announced the extension of their strategic alliance partnership on services between the two countries for a further five years. Pre-pandemic, China was New Zealand’s second-largest international visitor market (450,000 inbound travellers in 2019) and one of the most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend at $1.5 billion.

    The alliance agreement was first put in place in 2015 and will be extended to March 2026, having been approved by regulators in New Zealand and China.

    Through the strategic alliance, services can be easily booked through either airline. Air New Zealand and Air China customers enjoy reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, such as earning and spending loyalty points and lounge access. Air New Zealand customers also receive better access to Air China’s comprehensive domestic network. For Air China customers the alliance enhances their customers’ access to New Zealand’s regions.