Air New Zealand has promoted Jorge Flores-Garcia to area manager for UK and Europe.

He will start his new role in April.

Flores-Garcia, currently manager sales UK and Europe, will take over from Jo Copestake, general manager UK and Europe.

Copestake has been appointed regional general manager NZ distribution & corporate, based in New Zealand.

The airline will close its London route in October and focus on a “gateway strategy”.

“Our focus will be on driving the gateway strategy alongside our partner airlines to continue to drive traffic to New Zealand. With 14 gateways – via the east and west – we offer more ways to New Zealand than ever before,” Flores-Garcia said.

From October passengers will fly to New Zealand via Asia or the Americas on a partner airline before connecting onto an Air New Zealand service into Auckland.