Auckland International Airport chair Joan Withers says the potential $1.5 million salary package of new chief executive Adrian Littlewood is justified for the role he is taking on.
Mr Littlewood succeeds Simon Moutter, who has moved to Telecom.
He has been with the company three years and helped boost its retail and commercial operations, which account for about 40% of the company's revenue.
Mr Littlewood will earn up to $1.5 million a year, including a base salary of $725,000, a short-term incentive of up to $435,000 and a long-term incentive grant of 50% of his salary.
Ms Withers says it is a big role, Mr Littlewood is the right person for the job and the pay reflects this.