Wizz Air welcomes new deputy CEO
Stephen Jones has been appointed executive vice president and deputy CEO at Hungary’s low fare airline Wizz Air, taking effect from of the second half of the year, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal.
Jones will report to the company’s CEO and be a member of the executive team. He will be responsible for Wizz Air’s commercial, marketing and information technology organizations with the company’s chief commercial officer, chief marketing officer and head of information technology as direct reports, as well as being an important part of the board’s succession planning.
The deputy CEO, who is a dual national of New Zealand and the United Kingdom, has been the chief strategy, network and alliances officer at Air New Zealand since 2013, during which time he was responsible for the airline’s overall corporate strategy, network development, alliances and sustainability.
He oversaw the airline’s tightly cost-managed response to significant domestic competition from low cost carriers, as well as the turnaround of the airline’s international business in the face of severe competition from many Asian, Middle Eastern and low cost carriers in the trans-Tasman market, one of the most competitive in the world, according to Wizz Air.
Prior to this, Jones had held a number of other roles in Air New Zealand since he joined the airline in 2001, including general manager of its low cost carrier Freedom Air, general manager of the airline’s domestic business unit and Tasman and Pacific Islands business unit, as well as general manager of investor relations and financial planning, following the airline’s recapitalization in 2003. He also currently serves as chairman of the Star Alliance Management Board and the Star Alliance Strategy Committee.
“We are delighted to be welcoming Stephen Jones as Wizz Air’s executive Vice President and Deputy Chief Executive Officer,” said József Váradi, Wizz Air’s CEO.
“Stephen’s extensive and successful experience in numerous areas of airline management over many years will bring significant extra capacity to the company’s leadership team, as it continues to drive Wizz Air’s growth at a market-leading rate while at the same time remaining focused on delivering a great customer experience, maintaining our ultra-low cost base to become the undisputed cost leader among European airlines and continuing to deliver one of the best profit margins in the industry,” Váradi added.
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