Former Prime Minister John Key has got his first post-parliamentary job - joining the Air New Zealand board as a director.

Key said he was approached by the Air New Zealand Board and will join officially on September 1.

Air NZ chairman Tony Carter says the Board has been actively searching for a Director with strong international business experience and a deep knowledge of tourism for around a year.

"When John Key announced he was stepping down as Prime Minister and moving to a new phase of life outside of politics, it became a priority for the Board to try to secure his services as a Director," Carter said.


"John will bring extensive international commercial experience, outstanding leadership skills, global perspective and a keen understanding of the tourism sector gained during the years he was Tourism Minister as well as Prime Minister of New Zealand."

Key said he is delighted to have been approached.

"Air New Zealand is an incredible company that has significant opportunities ahead of it and I look forward to working with the board, chief executive officer and his executive team to see it fulfil its potential," Key said.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand's longest serving director Paul Bingham will be retiring at the company's annual meeting in September.

The company's shares are trading 4.5c higher today at $2.49.