Friday 23 February 2018

Etihad boss James Hogan to step down as airline launches strategic review

Enda Kenny pictured with outgoing Etihad boss James Hogan
Enda Kenny pictured with outgoing Etihad boss James Hogan
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Etihad Airways president and chief executive James Hogan will leave his role in the second half of this year, the airline has announced.

Hogan, who has led Etihad since 2006, will join an investment group with Etihad's chief financial officer James Rigney, who will also leave the airline.

Etihad chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said the company was "very grateful" to Hogan.

"In just ten years, he has overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional carrier into a 120 aircraft global airline and aviation group," he said.

Hogan said he was "very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and to the development of Abu Dhabi."

In recent months, a slowing regional economy, overcapacity in the industry and a strong US dollar have put pressure on Etihad's earnings.

Company and industry sources told Reuters in December that Etihad was reviewing its policy of investing in European airlines ("equity partnerships") after continued losses at Air Berlin and Alitalia. That month, Etihad said it was cutting jobs in some parts of its business, but did not give a number.

Al Mazrouei said Etihad was now embarking on a strategic review but was committed to the equity partnerships.

"We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape.  We must continue to improve cost efficiency, productivity and revenue.  We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships even as we remain committed to the strategy."

(Additional reporting Reuters)

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