Chris Walton is a Special Advisor to Otus. Chris was formerly
Finance Director and CFO of EasyJet. He has 17 years experience in
the airline industry working in senior finance and commercial
capacities for Qantas Airways, Air New Zealand, Australia Post and
At EasyJet, Chris was a key part of the team that grew a small
private company into one of Europe’s largest low-cost airlines and
one of its most successful online retailers. He has an in-depth
understanding of online selling, yield management and the use of
technology to reduce costs. In addition, the combination of his
low-cost and full-service experience has given him a unique insight
into the operation of consumer facing businesses with icon brands.
While FD at EasyJet, he was responsible for its successful IPO and
the international corporate reconstruction and refinancing that
preceded the IPO. Chris was fully involved in the ground-breaking
contract for the purchase of 240 Airbus aircraft and the purchase of
the airline Go-Fly. He designed and implemented a financing
framework for $5 billion of new aircraft. In 2005, Chris was awarded
a personal “Lifetime Achievement Award” in aviation by AirFinance
Journal. This followed his finance team’s receipt of Air Finance
Journal’s European Corporate Finance Deal of the Year award.
At Qantas Airways, Chris was responsible for the Group’s financial
and strategic planning and, latterly, for identifying, negotiating
and overseeing synergistic activities between Qantas and British
During seven years at Australian Airlines, Chris reviewed and
restructured unprofitable businesses, including regional airlines,
retail travel agents, resorts, catering and computer reservations.
He negotiated the purchase of the Westpac retail travel agency
network, and joint ventures for computer reservations, air freight
and catering businesses. He co-ordinated the privatisation
trade-sale process for the company, including negotiations with
credit rating and Government bodies.
At Air New Zealand, Chris was Finance Manager of the International
Airline Business, with responsibilities on five continents. In this
role, he also acted from time to time as the Director of Sales and
As a senior finance executive in Australia Post, Chris obtained its
initial credit rating and was responsible for submissions to
government regulators. Earlier roles included corporate planning for
BP and working as a legislative assistant in the Australian Senate.
Current non-executive board roles include Chairman Elect of
Goldenport Holdings and Audit Chairman of Rockhopper Exploration.
Chris was a member of the Regional Economic Advisory Panel (South
East & Anglia) of the Bank of England from 2002 to 2005. Chris has
an MBA and a BA. He holds a private pilot’s licence and flies
aerobatics. His military experience has been in Special Action
Forces in the Australian Army Reserve. Chris is resident in London.