The team

BARNZ team

Justin Tighe-Umbers​

Executive Director

Justin heads up the BARNZ team as they strive to advocate on behalf of their members on key policy, regulatory and operational matters affecting the airline industry. His approach is to build strong, trust-based relationships with senior management at airports, agencies and government departments, and to consistently work for sustainable outcomes for all parties.

Prior to joining BARNZ in June 2017, Justin worked in the Telecommunications industry. This included an 8-year stint with Chorus NZ Ltd, where he held a number of senior roles spanning regulatory, operational and commercial functions.

Justin holds a Master’s degree in International Business, and an undergraduate degree in Political Studies from the University of Auckland.

Ian Ferguson​

Manager - Pricing and Policy

Working with central government on policy and regulatory matters, Ian leads BARNZ’s input into airport and border agency pricing decisions on behalf of its airline members. He is focused is on achieving positive outcomes for member airlines, their passengers and the wider community.

Before joining BARNZ in January 2017, Ian’s previous roles included Associate Director in the Finance and Economics team at PwC New Zealand, Regulatory Policy Manager at Vector Limited and Policy Advisor in the Scottish Government.

Ian has an MA in History from the University of Glasgow and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from Massey University.

Christopher Tomlin

Manager - Planning and Operations

Christopher leads engagement in capital planning projects at airports on behalf of member airlines. He believes it is possible to deliver an excellent traveller experience on the ground. As such, he focuses his efforts on ensuring airport and border infrastructure is developed in an efficient, sustainable way and that it supports future industry growth.

Before joining BARNZ in October 2017, Christopher spent his career in the airline and aviation sector. This included an extensive stretch with British Airways where he held various senior positions at London’s Heathrow Airport, overseas and at a corporate head office level.

Executive committee

Roger Gray

BARNZ President / Group General Manager Airports, Air New Zealand

Roger is the Group General Manager Airports for Air New Zealand, responsible for Airport operations worldwide. He was previously Group General Manager Business Performance at Air New Zealand and has held senior positions in the logistics and food industries. He was a Board Member at the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council.

Chris Lethbridge

BARNZ Vice-President / New Zealand Regional Manager, Emirates

Chris joined Emirates as in 1997 as Manager New Zealand and Pacific Islands. In 2003 he oversaw the start of Emirates services to New Zealand. He has 24 years’ experience in the airline industry, prior to his current role as Regional Manager New Zealand for Emirates Chris held senior roles at Malaysia Airlines and Thai international. Chris also holds a private pilot licence.

Georgia Blackburn

BARNZ Vice-President / Regional General Manager New Zealand, Pacific Islands & South America, Qantas Airways Limited

Georgia has been with the Qantas Group since March 2004. She has extensive experience in the airline industry, having previously held management positions in customer experience, human resources and operations at Qantas in Australia and overseas. Prior to her current role, Georgia was Head of Airline Loyalty for Qantas Loyalty, where she worked closely with the airline partners of Qantas Frequent Flyer to develop and implement strategies to drive engagement with the Qantas Frequent Flyer member base.

Simon Turcotte

General Manager NZ, Singapore Airlines

Simon joined Singapore Airlines in 2007 working in a number of roles at the Singapore Head Office. He has been living outside of Singapore for several years, having served in India and Spain prior to his current posting in Auckland. Simon is currently responsible for operations in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. 

Mark Pirihi

Country Manager New Zealand & Pacific Islands, Cathay Pacific Airways

Mark began his career completing a cadetship with Atlantic Pacific Travel in Auckland. He joined Cathay Pacific in 1990 as a sales representative. At the time, the airline operated 2 flights per week to Auckland. Mark has worked in various sales and marketing roles and seen Cathay Pacific’s New Zealand presence steadily grow. He is now Country Manager for New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

Mohan Chandra

Regional General Manager, New Zealand, Fiji Airways

Before his role with Fiji Airways, Mohan has held several senior aviation management positions with a number of other airlines throughout his career. To name a few – he was Commercial Director Kenya Airways, Chief Operating Officer and Aviation Advisor for Emirates Post Group, based in Dubai. He has also been New Zealand Sales Manager for Emirates based in Auckland and Regional Manager for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines based in Dubai, responsible for UAE, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Yemen and Oman.

Mohan holds an Executive Management Diploma from American Management Association and a Diploma in Aviation Airline Transport Endorsement and holds a Commercial Pilot License from New Zealand. He represented Kenya Airways as Director on the Kenya Tourism board and also represented Kenya Airways with IATA.