Network Strategy Manager
Air New Zealand
Buddhika has over ten years’ experience delivering strategic, commercial and customer-focussed outcomes in IT, water, electricity and aviation. At Mercury, one of New Zealand’s largest electricity generators and retailers, he managed a team of analysts with wide exposure to wholesale electricity, carbon and gas markets. Buddhika also managed Mercury’s relationship with national grid owner Transpower and was responsible for ensuring Mercury adapted to the market impacts of investments and reconfigurations within the grid. Buddhika takes a keen interest in the efficient operation and regulation of markets. He was a strong contributor to Mercury’s submissions on regulatory and market design matters affecting transmission and electricity trading. At Mercury Buddhika led the development of a successful business case for a 1 MW/2 MWh directly grid-connected battery – a New Zealand first. Buddhika currently works as a strategist advising on Air New Zealand's aviation network. This involves developing business cases for new routes, identifying medium-term opportunities to re-optimise the airline's existing network, assessing competitor activity and developing and presenting network recommendations to senior management. Working for an airline has given Buddhika the opportunity to consider how aviation can participate in the energy transition, be it through carbon offsetting, electric aviation and/or sustainable fuels.
Air New Zealand operates a global network that provides passenger and cargo services to, from and within New Zealand to approximately 17 million passengers a year.