Etihad Airways Parent Company Says Its CEO Is Leaving

Maxine SotoJan 25, 2017

James Hogan, now President and CEO of the Etihad Airways Aviation Group will step down alongside the company's CFO James Rigney.

Hogan commented; "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".

In May past year, Etihad formed the Etihad Aviation Group with five business divisions in the aviation and travel space: the flagship airline, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, the Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners.

Etihad Aviation Group's chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said "We are very grateful to James".

Etihad is also an investor in Air Berlin, Alitalia, India-based Jet Airways, Air Seychelles, Air Serbia and most recently, the Austrian low-priced carrier Niki.

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Chief financial officer James Rigney will also quit to join Hogan at an investment company, Etihad said in statement Monday, without elaborating.

Though a successor has yet to be named for the pending CEO and CFO vacancies, the company has said in a press release that the search is "already underway".

Hogan and Rigney are both board members of Jet Airways, in which Etihad holds a 24% stake.

As the head of Etihad, Hogan's strategy was to achieve growth through airline equity partnerships.

In September 2016, the partner airlines along with Etihad Airways and its accompanying subsidiaries were reconfigured to form Etihad Aviation Group.

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

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

Meanwhile, Alitalia, of which Etihad purchased a 49% stake in 2014, has been ordered by creditors to develop a cost-saving restructuring plan by February to stem mounting losses. Etihad is a great business with strong fundamentals and a deeply experienced aviation and airline management team. "We look forward to James' continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways", al-Mazrouei added. A new codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and an aircraft leasing agreement between airberlin and Lufthansa were also announced. "We also believed our minority investments would unlock an additional advantage that the global alliances were simply unable to use", Hogan said of the policy recently. "The last decade has seen incredible results but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad".

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

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