Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe leaves the company at the end of this month after his tenure at the top of an airline that has weathered well some of the most tumultuous years in aviation.
Fyfe has been boss for seven years and profits during the past year beat expectations as other airlines - notably Qantas in this region - faltered in a tough market with soft demand and continued high fuel prices.
The airline and the former air force officer has continued this year to collect a slew of awards, the latest an induction into the hall of fame at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, which neatly described his contribution.
"Rob Fyfe brought to Air New Zealand a change of style which drastically reshaped the mentality of the airline, engaging the workforce and its travelling public," the citation said.
"Under his leadership the airline took on vital roles in community support during domestic tragedies over the past two years.
"He led from the front at all times - including the globally renowned marketing product designed to illustrate the airline's all-in offering."
This year he's continued to help get the relatively small airline noticed on the world stage with its tie-up to the Hobbit franchise already paying dividends.
He's also seen an executive he appointed - Christopher Luxon - go on to get the top job.By Grant Bradley Email Grant