Fyfe adds Air Canada to CV
Rob Fyfe, the former chief executive of Air New Zealand, has been appointed to the board of Air Canada.
Fyfe was with Air New Zealand from 2005 until 2012. Under his watch, the company was named Airline of the Year, ‘‘New Zealand’s most attractive employer’’ and ‘‘most reputable company’’ by Air Transport World.
Fyfe was known by employees as ‘‘Rob the Knife’’ when he took over as chief executive and slashed hundreds of jobs, starting cuts just five days into the job.
Upon his resignation from the company he was referred to as a ‘‘rock star CEO’’ by a leadership expert, and former union boss Andrew Little who squared off with him on job cuts called him ‘‘one of New Zealand’s better business leaders’’.
Air Canada chief executive Calin Rovinescu said, ‘‘We are delighted that Rob has agreed to bring his leadership experience and deep knowledge of the airline sec- tor and Asia-Pacific to the service of our company and our shareholders.’’
Fyfe will replace long-standing board member Joseph Leonard who will retire on September 30 after a decade with the company.
Leonard was previously the chief executive of budget American airline AirTran Airways.
Rovinescu said, ‘‘On behalf of our employees, directors and shareholders, I sincerely thank Joe for his strategic insight, advice and contribution to our transformation and shareholder value creation.’’
Fyfe is involved in the management of several New Zealand companies as chair of outdoor apparel designer Icebreaker, director of government-funded research programme Antarctica New Zealand, and director of jewellery chain Michael Hill International.
He also owns a significant 25 per cent share in online wine retail start-up WineFriend, which delivers bottles of wine to customers specially tailored to personal tastes. A value war has broken out at the top end of the mobile data market.
Spark last week slashed the cost of its high-end mobile plans and offered unlimited data for less than $20 a week.
Now Vodafone has released its own range of plans with more data. It is offering a Red+ Essentials plan for $79.99 a month with 22GB of data, or 10GB for $59.99.
2degrees has also boosted its latest mobile plan line-up to offer 25GB for $70 without hot spot or speed restrictions. The company’s unlimited plan is $129 a month.
Consumer NZ writer Hadyn Green said phone users in New Zealand and around the world were using much more data on their mobile phones.
‘‘We don’t need more minutes, we just want data because everyone is using social media, taking photos and sending them to their friends.’’
Services such as iMessage and FaceTime also reroute traditional phone services to use data instead.
But Green said telcos had struggled to offer that because although texts and talk minutes were cheap to provide, data cost more.
He said Spark had been able to find a way around it and its competitors had responded.
But it was unclear how many people needed mobile data plans that big. ‘‘I’m a pretty heavy user but I very rarely hit 1GB a month.’’
He said many heavy mobile data users also tended to have access to wifi networks.
Users might only need a large data allowance if they were using their phones to stream movies on other devices, which Spark does not officially allow.
He said $80 a month was still a high mobile phone bill, especially if it was not a business account.
Spark offers a $19 plan with 750MB of data, 200 minutes and unlimited texts.