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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Etihad appoints former Abu Dhabi Airports boss as new group CEO

Tony Douglas replaces long-time chief executive James Hogan

Etihad said flights from the UAE's capital to Dallas route would will become “commercially unsustainable” once the codeshare is severed in 2018.  Etihad
Etihad said flights from the UAE's capital to Dallas route would will become “commercially unsustainable” once the codeshare is severed in 2018. Etihad

Etihad Aviation Group has appointed Tony Douglas, formerly a UK Defence ministry official and head of Abu Dhabi Airports, as its new chief executive, replacing James Hogan who stepped down in July. He will start his new position on January 1.

Mr Douglas, the former chief executive of the defence equipment and support department at the UK's ministry of defence, replaces interim chief executive Ray Gammell, who will return to his position as group chief people & performance officer. He formerly served as chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, a position he took up in 2013, and is also a former chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports Company, the entity behind the development of Khalifa Port.

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“We are delighted to have Tony return to Abu Dhabi to lead Etihad,” said Mohamed Al Mazrouei, chairman of the board of Etihad Aviation Group. “He has guided the transformation of large organisations in the UAE and the UK, and he understands the UAE and the region. He is also deeply knowledgeable about commercial aviation and keenly familiar with Etihad’s challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing industry.”

Etihad is overhauling it business model and selling stake it holds in minority companies that have led to losses at the Abu Dhabi-based airline. The group said in July it had sold its stake in Swiss-based carrier Darwin Airline, its first divestment since the airline began a review of its international investment strategy last year.

Etihad recorded a US$1.87 billion loss in 2016 after a one-off impairment on aircraft and equity investments in partner airlines Alitalia and AirBerlin outweighed growth of passengers to a record.

The airline said an increase in competition in the airline business globally as well as slowdown in economic growth regionally also weighed on results in addition to losses related to fuel hedging.

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