Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon resigns

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon has announced he will be stepping down later in the year.

"I have absolutely loved the responsibility and experience of leading this company over the last seven years," he said in a statement on Wednesday night.

"It has been intellectually challenging, people-centred and an absolute privilege to do this job. However, I do feel it is the right time for a new leader to take over and preserve and enhance the good things from our past."

Luxon, just 48, says he's going to "refresh and recharge", then consider his career choices - which could include a switch to politics.

"I would like to think more about how I can best use my skills, abilities and experience to make a further contribution to the success of New Zealand whether that be through corporate life, politics or a not for profit," he says.

Chairman Tony Carter says Luxon has made an outstanding contribution to the airline during his seven-year tenure, including delivering enhanced profitability and the best corporate reputation in New Zealand.

Luxon says he is incredibly proud of what Air New Zealand has achieved under his tenure.

"Our customer centricity, commercial focus, and highly engaged culture have made Air New Zealand the most revered company in our part of the world as reflected in our corporate reputation rankings on both sides of the Tasman."

Carter says Luxon will remain in his role until September  25, when he will move to advising and supporting the incoming chairman and new CEO.