The chairman of Qantas Airways Leigh Clifford has announced Mr Joyce would assume the role of chief executive designate and also join the board of Qantas with immediate effect.
“Alan is, we believe, the best person to take Qantas forward in what is a very challenging environment,” Mr Clifford said.
Mr Joyce, 42 years old, has been with Qantas since 2000 and was appointed the head of the Qantas’s offshoot, Jetstar, in 2003.
He will head the airline that is undergoing major restructuring programs to maintain 15 years of profitability amid record high fuel prices. Along with its fleet renewal underway, the company has recently announced thousands of job redundancies and a series of capacity reductions.
Qantas has also recently suffered a string of embarrassing and potentially dangerous incidents, from a hole blown in the fuselage of a 747 to an Adelaide-bound 737 suffering landing gear failure, to Monday morning chaos at Sydney Airport during the botched introduction of a new baggage handling system
Mr Clifford said Mr Dixon has helped the airline overcome challenges and expand competitiveness during his time at Qantas.
“Qantas has successfully adapted and responded to the myriad challenges the industry has faced since 2001 and is duly recognised as one of the best managed airlines in the world.”
Mr Dixon will remain available to Qantas on a consulting basis until March 2009.