Departing Air New Zealand chief executive won't rule out working for another airline after he leaves his job later this year.
Luxon's last official day is September 25 and he says he's had calls from overseas companies about possible jobs.
He wouldn't name them but says "I have lots of calls all the time."
While a bid for politics is most likely — he's taken advice from friend and Air New Zealand board member Sir John Key — for Luxon it's a question of timing.
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He's something of an adroit politician already and he's not about to show his hand right now.
"I honestly have compartmentalised the decision — I will deal with what comes next at the end of the year," he says.
"I'm 48 years old, my kids are leaving high school and I've got a degree of freedom that I haven't had before. I do have big opportunities to other corporate jobs but predominantly they would be overseas."
He chose to come home for the Air New Zealand job after 16 years in big jobs for Unilever and while he liked living here, the big corporate roles were overseas.
Asked if that could be an airline he said: "I'd never say never but I would find it difficult — I love Air New Zealand."
As Air New Zealand punches above its weight (it ranks 98th among about 200 airlines in size) so does Luxon in the international airline community where if the right job was available, he would be a strong candidate.
The timing of his announcement was something of a surprise within the airline and among Air New Zealand watchers but he says he had informed chairman Tony Carter of the likelihood this would likely be his last year at the end of the summer holidays.
"I've never had a fixed-term contract but I wasn't willing to sign up for another five years emotionally. I think it's healthy for Air New Zealand to have high-energy, high-impact leaders who come on and move it on."
He and his wife, Amanda, made the final decision on handing in his resignation - which he did last night.
"I did probably think it was my last year but I didn't lock and load and resign until yesterday."
Luxon also phoned Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to tell her of his decision and to discuss his role as head of the Business Advisory Council. She is happy for him to keep leading it, in spite of a possible future as a National Party candidate.
"We're very good friends, we've got a very constructive relationship. We're both united and joined up on the long-term things we want to do in New Zealand," Luxon told the Herald today during a break in a senior leadership meeting at the airline's Fanshawe St headquarters in Auckland.
Luxon took over as chief executive in January 2013 after more than a year of heading the airline's international division.
His predecessor Rob Fyfe also spent time in senior roles before taking the big job but it seems that tradition of promoting from within won't happen this time.
Although there are a range of highly regarded candidates within the airline's executive it appears the next chief executive will come from outside the airline.
The board says it is on a hunt here and overseas for a successor.
Luxon, who earned more than $4 million last year, says the appointee needs three key attributes.
• Tremendous clarity over where you think things must go.
• Ability to communicate that; "people follow you not because you're the chief executive but you can communicate what you are doing and why you are doing it."
• Being good with people: "You have really got to love people because we're in the people business."
Luxon says being a New Zealander would help.
"My personal view is a New Zealander is incredibly helpful because they realise how important this company is to the public. It's a rather unique circumstance because there is no other company like this."
He's been a big supporter of promoting women in the airline and says a female chief executive was a possibility, while stressing it will be a board call.
'There's no reason why we can't make a female appointment — I don't see that as being a barrier at all."
Among names in the mix are departing Spark boss Simon Moutter, TVNZ head Kevin Kenrick and, if the airline wants to tap its former executives, Stephen Jones and Ed Sims have been suggested. Former Hawaiian Airlines boss Mark Dunkerley is an outsider who is said to have had the recently filled Virgin Australia job if he'd wanted it.
Incoming Air New Zealand chair Dame Therese Walshe will be key in making the decision.
Luxon says the trick for a new chief executive is keeping the good bits from their predecessor - as has been the case for the last three appointments - while bringing their own ideas to the job.
''We brought our own personality, our own emphasis and put our own stamp on it. If it's all playing the same play book and it's all incremental its not going to be sufficient and equally if it's all 'action Jackson' change for the sake of change that's not going to work either.''
Luxon says the airline is in good shape to cope with inevitable change even though its rate of growth is slowing.
In 2016 it achieved a record result, pre-tax earnings of $663 million. It has revised its outlook down this year to around $340m for the full year.
''I have no doubt we will be able to find our way through this - were not dealing with a GFC (global financial crisis) event, we've just got slowing levels of growth not, declining growth and we know what we need to do to control costs.''
During his time in charge the airline had grown 40 per cent, now carrying 17 million customers.
"There's been a massive growth in our network and customer base, there's been a very big improvement in our balance sheet as a consequence."
This was important as Air New Zealand was a small fish in a big pond.
"When you're a small airline you need to have ea good balance sheet so you can compete strongly and invest back into the business."
That growth, and commitment to take adversarial tactics from labour relations was welcomed by NZ Air Line Pilots Association president Tim Robinson.
"We are sorry to see him go. He made a real effort to engage."
Luxon says the Dreamliner engine issue was the biggest challenge he faced.
He says he has few regrets, but one was not moving more quickly to establish a policy on Ta Moko and tattoos for customer-facing staff.
"By and large I don't have any regrets. I think we got the big decisions right," he says.