Former American Airlines Executive Doug Parker Joins Qantas

Former American Airlines Executive Doug Parker Joins Qantas

DALLAS — Australian flag carrier Qantas (QF) announced that Doug Parker, former Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines (AA), joined their board of executives.

Having been responsible for most of AA’s development in the 21st century, to say that Doug Parker is an experienced addition to the growing Australian carrier is an understatement.

Parker joined AA in 1986 as a manager of finance before moving to Northwest Airlines (NW) as Vice President in 1991. In 2005, he was hired by US Airways (US) as CEO and then rejoined AA after their merger with US in 2013. He served as the CEO of AA until 2021 before being replaced by Greg Smith, a former employee at Boeing for over 30 years.

The ex-AA CEO will step in QF as long-time board member Michael L’Estrange steps down in preparation for his retirement. L’Estrange served as the airline’s director for several years and played an essential role in the growing bond between QF and AA in the 2010s.

The majority of Parker’s experience in the aviation industry was at AA. Photo: Marty Basaria/Airways

Experience Crosses the Other Pond

Both members of the aviation alliance OneWorld, QF, and AA have maintained a significantly close relationship throughout Parker’s position as CEO of the American airline.

Parker also was a key figure in the merger of US and AA, eventually growing the airline to the largest in the world in fleet size. AA now serves 10 hubs across the United States and operates thousands of daily flights. He has also worked as CEO during the worst times of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the airline to a road of recovery.

“There are few people with as much experience running airlines as Doug. He’s spent over two decades as an airline CEO in North America, including eight years heading up the world’s largest airline. The knowledge and perspective he’ll bring to the Board will be a huge asset as we grow in the years ahead,” says Mr. Goyder, the current Chairman of QF.

Parker’s crucial role on the board of QF awaits the airline’s rapid growth and recovery following the years of the pandemic. It will allow QF to expand and become a superpower in the world’s aviation industry. He will be the eighth member of the board.

Featured image: Qantas VH-OQA Airbus A380-800. Photo: Christian Winter/Airways

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