Australian airline Qantas has scored a major international hire, nabbing Canadian SAP executive Susan Doniz as its new head of tech.
As well as looking after technology as chief information officer, Doniz has also been given the task of “working closely” with Qantas’ valuable loyalty program business and budget brand Jetstar.
Doniz was the CIO for Aimia from 2011 to 2015 — a company described as the “world’s largest loyalty and data analytics company”, which evolved out of Air Canada’s former loyalty programme Aeroplan.
She departs her current position as SAP “chief expert” after just one year.
“Qantas isn’t just an iconic company, it’s one with a long history of embracing new technology,” said Doniz. “I’m looking forward to working on the next wave of opportunities that digital change is opening up for airlines and their passengers.”
Doniz’s appointment comes after previous chief information officer Luc Hennekens departed in September after three years at the helm. He has since moved to France to join aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
The position of Qantas technology chief is a highly visible role to the travelling public. According to itnews, the Hennekens era ushered in an automatic digital check-in service for domestic travel, baggage and freight management via a mobile app, a spin-off of its internal data analytics unit into an external one and reducing technology expenses as part of the company’s $2 billion cost-cutting campaign.
Qantas announced that Doniz will arrive as the airline is progressing through “a wide-ranging digital transformation”. Some of the initiatives she’ll have to manage are the introduction of high-speed inflight wi-fi, migration to cloud computing, new mobile services for customers and staff, and leveraging big data.
Qantas posted a record full-year underlying profit of $1.53 billion for the 2016 financial year, after reporting a $2.8 billion loss just two years ago.