Air New Zealand chief financial officer Rob McDonald will retire at the end of the year and will be succeeded by group general manager of corporate finance, Jeff McDowall.

McDonald has been with the airline for the past 24 years.

Chief executive Christopher Luxon said McDonald signalled his intention to take up non-executive appointments from 2018 almost two years ago which allowed the airline to put in place a succession planning process.

McDonald became group financial planning manager at Air New Zealand in 1993 and was appointed group treasurer in 1995 before being appointed CFO in 2004.

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Luxon said McDonald had played an integral role in helping to expand Air New Zealand's network and was one of the architects behind its successful fleet simplification strategy that has delivered improved cabins and lower operating costs.

The airline's chairman Tony Carter said McDonald had been instrumental in helping shape Air New Zealand into the airline it is today.

"He is rightly regarded as one of the most astute chief financial officers in aviation and our shareholders, customers and staff have benefited immensely from his experience and leadership skills."

McDowall has been at the airline for 17 years. Before that he spent six years as a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New Zealand, Singapore and the United States as well as three years with Mobil Oil in New Zealand and Britain.

McDonald said he was proud of Air New Zealand's ability to nurture world-class talent to lead the company into the future.