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Etihad Aviation Group announces James Hogan to go in the second half of 2017

Posted 24 January 2017 · Add Comment

The Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors has said that James Hogan will step down as president and chief executive officer of the company in the second half of 2017.

The Board and Hogan first initiated the transition process last year with the formation in May of the Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel organisation.

Commenting on Hogan’s time at Etihad, Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, chairman of the Group said: “We are very grateful to James. 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, with seven airline equity partnerships which together serve more than 120 million guests every year. It is a business which has set new benchmarks for service and innovation. Under his leadership, the company has provided new opportunities for thousands of Emiratis and has been a critical element in the remarkable progress of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We look forward to James’ continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways.”

Hogan said: “Along with the Board and my 26,000 colleagues, I am 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. The last decade has seen incredible results but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad.”

Commenting on current priorities for the business, Mazrouei said: “To position the company for continued success in a challenging market, the Board and management team will continue an ongoing, company-wide strategic review. 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.”

Last month, Etihad Airways unveiled plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG. A new codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and an aircraft leasing agreement between airberlin and Lufthansa were also announced. As a minority shareholder, Etihad is actively participating in the next phase of Alitalia’s restructuring plan.

Mazrouei added: “Etihad is a great business with strong fundamentals and a deeply experienced aviation and airline management team. These assets, along with a realigned organisation, provide more agility and added focus as Etihad enters the next phase of its development.” 

Analyst Saj Ahmad said: “The planned departure by Etihad's group president and CEO James Hogan doesn't come as a complete surprise. Having overseen a rapid period of growth, expansion and shift towards moving premium cabin offerings above that of its competition, Etihad is arguably well positioned to move forward with new leadership that will set the foundation for its shift to Abu Dhabi's Midfield Terminal and allow it to unlock it's growth potential.”

Ahmad added: “However, Etihad's piecemeal airline stake acquisition policy has called into question whether these investments will ultimately pay off. Where Etihad has had success with Air Serbia and Air Seychelles, it has battled hard to try and turn around Air Berlin and Alitalia.

“Whether the new leadership team follow this model remains to be seen, however, Etihad's inherent strength and size put it in a very good position to continue its organic growth strategy as it expands it's fleet and network.”

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