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The first female CEO of a major US carrier has just been named; Australia already has three

Budget airline JetBlue will be the first leading US carrier with a female CEO with the company's COO & President Joanne Geraghty assuming the top role. Ms Geraghty will succeed current CEO Robin Hayes, who is stepping down for health reasons.

Budget airline JetBlue will be the first leading US carrier with a female CEO with the company’s COO & President Joanne Geraghty assuming the top role. Ms Geraghty will succeed current CEO Robin Hayes, who is stepping down for health reasons.

While it’s major news for US aviation, Australia currently has three female airline CEOs.

Jayne Hrdlicka has been at the helm of Virgin Australia since November 2020, Stephanie Tully at Jetstar since November 2022 and Vanessa Hudson succeeded Alan Joyce as Qantas Group CEO in September 2023.

Other international airlines, such as KLM, Air France, Aer Lingus and Vietjet, also have female CEOs. A smaller US airline, Cape Air, is also headed by a woman.

A320 aircraft.

Ms Geraghty will start as CEO on 12 February 2024 and also join the airline’s Board of Directors.

Ms Geraghty has worked at JetBlue for more than 20 years, becoming President and COO in 2018 where she was responsible for the airline’s operations and commercial performance.

Before this, she served as Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and Chief People Officer as well as Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Director, Litigation and Regulatory Affairs. 

New JetBlue chapter

Onboard snack service.

Board Chair Peter Boneparth said: “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to congratulate Joanna and thank Robin for his contributions and outstanding leadership.”

“Robin guided the airline through significant change and innovation, caring for the unique culture while instilling a value creation mindset and positioning us for sustainable future growth.

“When Robin informed us of his decision to retire, the Board unanimously voted to transition the role to Joanna, knowing she is fully prepared to step into the role.

“Joanna is a proven strategic leader and she is clearly the right person to carry JetBlue forward into this next chapter.”

For more info, head to jetblue.com