Air Pacific's CEO, John Campbell, plans to leave the Fijian national carrier when his contract expires June next year.

Campbell says he has decided to leave in June 2010, when his contract expires, because he feels whoever is the next CEO should have the opportunity to decide on matters relating to the introduction of Air Pacific's new fleet of Boeing 787s.

"We need to have someone who will see this project through rather than hand it over in the middle," says Campbell, who turns 62 next year.

He says whoever is the next CEO should have the opportunity to decide on the aircraft specifications and help arrange the financing.

Air Pacific has eight Boeing 787s on order and it has chosen the General Electric GEnx engine.

Campbell says the airline is taking five 787s "in fairly quick succession" in 2014 and 2015.

The next three were originally due to be delivered in 2017 but have been delayed to 2019/2020, he adds.

Besides 787s, the carrier also plans to place an order for 70-seat turboprops for its regional arm Pacific Sun.

The evaluation process has been delayed to next year which means "we won't be taking delivery before 2011," says Campbell.

He says the pitch has been delayed because of the global economic situation, which has caused Air Pacific's total passenger traffic to fall 25% year-on-year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news