Air New Zealand's departing chief executive Rob Fyfe says his job heading the airline has been "relentless and all-consuming".
It was announced on Tuesday that Mr Fyfe is to leave the company on 31 December after seven years in the job.
He says he wants to leave the airline with a strong balance sheet and a clear strategy for the future and his departure will give other people a chance at the top job.
He told Checkpoint it is healthy for a company to have new people coming in with new ideas.
Mr Fyfe says he has not decided on his next role yet and is not in talks with any prospective employers.
Air NZ chairman John Palmer says Mr Fyfe is an outstanding chief executive, who ensured the airline remained profitable despite the turbulent economic times.
And the executive director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, Peter Harbison, also paid tribute to Mr Fyfe saying he can be credited with strengthening the airline during tumultuous times for the aviation sector.
"Strategically he has done some quite extraodinary things in the last three or to four years and more importantly I think his real legacy will be the culture he's created in Air New Zealand."