Etihad Airways, the government-owned and Abu Dhabi-based carrier has announced that James Hogan is to step down as company president as part of a “transition process”. Having joined Etihad Airways in 2006 when the carrier was a regional short-haul airline with 22 aircraft, last year he was named President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. Etihad Airways now operates a fleet of 120 aircraft, with a further 120 planes on order, and flies to 112 destinations worldwide.
In a statement from Etihad Airways, Hogan is quoted as saying “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.” Mohamed al-Mazrouei, Chairman Etihad Aviation Group, confirmed: “We look forward to (Hogan’s) continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways.”
Together with Etihad Airways’ chief financial officer, James Rigney, it is understood that Hogan will join an investment company in Abu Dhabi. The search for a new CEO and CFO of the group is already underway, while the carrier had already named Peter Baumgartner as its CEO. The group not only includes Etihad Airways but also Etihad Cargo, as well as various airport services.
Despite the airline’s rapid expansion, it has begun measures to reduce the workforce owing to toughened competition and a weakened global economy, as well as a dramatic drop in the price of crude oil. Part of the expansion program has included investing in other airlines, with Etihad Airways holding a 49% stake in Alitalia, a 29% stake in airberlin, a 40% stake in Air Seychelles, a 19.9% stake in Virgin Australia, a 3% stake in Aer Lingus, and a 24% stake in the Indian carrier Jet Airways.
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