Air New Zealand has appointed chief financial officer Jeff McDowall as acting chief executive officer while the final phase of recruitment is underway to replace Christopher Luxon when he leaves the role on September 25.

Air New Zealand said today that it was progressing with the international recruitment process and McDowall was not seeking permanent appointment to the role.

Chairman Tony Carter say the board is highly satisfied with how the search for a new chief Executive was progressing.

Carter will retire as Air New Zealand chairman at the Annual Shareholders' Meeting on September 25 and be replaced by current director Dame Therese Walsh, who is leading the search process on behalf of the Board.

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Dame Therese said that given the calibre of the candidates being considered in the selection process it is possible that the new chief executive officer of Air New Zealand would not start until the first quarter of 2020.

McDowall's previous roles at Air New Zealand include group general manager corporate finance and group general manager commercial.

Prior to Air New Zealand he worked across a variety of industries in Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

General manager corporate finance, Stephan Deschamps will take over as acting chief financial officer on the executive on September 26.

Air New Zealand reports its full annual result tomorrow morning.

Luxon, who announced his resignation in June, took over as Air New Zealand's chief executive in 2013 after two years working as its international head.

It has targeted pre-tax earnings to exceed $340 million after downgrading guidance due to rising fuel prices, disruptions to airline schedules over global engine issues, and slowing domestic travel.