Etihad CEO Hogan to quit as carrier struggles with investments

On January 24, the board of directors for the Etihad Aviation Group announced that its CEO, James Hogan, will be stepping down as of the second half of 2017.

In a statement, Etihad says that Hogan's "transition process" started a year ago with the formation of the Group. Hogan will leave in the second half of this year and the airline group has already begun the process of finding a new chief executive. Additionally, chief financial officer James Rigney also will depart this year.

Hogan, 60, joined Etihad Airways in 2006 and has presided over the airline's incredible growth from an upstart regional player with 22 aircraft to a global power with more than 120 aircraft and another 204 on order.

Mazouri adds that Etihad's board and management are continuing to conduct a company-wide strategic review.

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Mazrouei added a note of caution though, saying "We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape". "We must continue to improve cost efficiency, productivity and revenue", he said. The airline's code-share and equity partnerships remain a core element of its growth, delivering 5.5 million passengers onto Etihad Airways' flights in 2016.

In December previous year, Etihad Airways said it was cutting jobs in some parts of its business as a part of its restructuring.

On Tuesday, Etihad said it had started a global search for a new group CEO and a new CFO.

Last month, Etihad Airways unveiled plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG.

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In September, struggling Air Berlin, of which Etihad owns 29.2%, entered into a lease agreement with the Lufthansa Group for up to 40 Airbus A320 aircraft as part of a downsizing and restructuring.

It also confirmed that as a minority shareholder, it is "actively participating" in the next phase of Alitalia's restructuring plan. Etihad is a great business with strong fundamentals and a deeply experienced aviation and airline management team.

"We are very grateful to James", Al Mazrouei said.

Also, a new chief executive could herald a change in approach to the Etihad's foreign airline investments acquired during Hogan's tenure, which apart from airberlin, Alitalia and Virgin Australia also included India's Jet Airways, Air Seychelles, Air Serbia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional. It has been named World Travel Awards' World's Leading Airline for each of the last eight years and was recently recognised by Skytrax as one of just nine five-star airlines in the world.

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In the United Kingdom , we saw our eighth consecutive quarter of volume growth and delivered a third successful Christmas. Primark owner Associated British Foods said sales jumped a whopping 22% in the 16 weeks to January 7.

Etihad serves Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from its Abu Dhabi hub.


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