Published on 23rd May 2023 at 9:06

The Qantas Group has today announced two changes to its Board, as the national carrier continues to focus on renewal.

Former American Airlines CEO and Chairman, Doug Parker, will join the Qantas Board, bringing more than 35 years of aviation experience gained in one of the world’s most dynamic aviation markets.

In November, long-serving Qantas Director Michael L’Estrange AO will retire from the Board at the expiry of his current term, having made a substantial contribution over more than seven years.

Announcing the changes, Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder said the changes would help maintain the depth and breadth of experience on the Board, as the Group entered the next phase in its history.

“There are few people with as much experience running airlines as Doug. He’s spent more than 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,” said Mr Goyder.

While Mr Parker was CEO of American Airlines, its relationship with Qantas expanded significantly as the two carriers formed a joint business to serve passengers better.

Mr Parker said: “Qantas has always been one of the world’s great airlines and it has clearly come through the pandemic in a very strong position. I’m honoured to be joining the board at a time when there is a lot of momentum and I look forward to doing what I can to support that.”

Mr Parker will sit on the Board from today ahead of a shareholder vote at the company’s 2023 Annual General Meeting on 3 November. Current non-executive director, Michael L’Estrange, will retire at the AGM after three terms.

Mr Goyder said: “Michael has made a huge contribution to Qantas over the past seven years, especially during the most acute parts of the COVID crisis when the Board met intensively. He is an incredibly diligent director and, in particular, his insights on international relations and government affairs have been invaluable. We are extremely grateful for his efforts.”

Mr L’Estrange said: “It has been an absolute honour to serve on the Qantas Board. Among the great strengths of Qantas are its clarity of purpose and the exceptional dedication and professionalism of its people. Qantas has a very bright future and I wish it every success.”

Following the November AGM, Qantas will have an eight member board, consisting of four women and four men.


1986 – 1991                American Airlines (various financial management positions)

1991 – 1995                North West Airlines (Vice President, Assistant Treasurer and Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis)

1995 – 2005                America West Airlines (Chief Financial Officer; appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2001)

2005 – 2013                US Airways (Chief Executive Officer)

2013 – 2021                American Airlines (Chief Executive Officer)

Mr Parker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Albion College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Vanderbilt University.