Bruce Ashby takes up the oneworld reins

Aviation veteran Bruce Ashby has been named as Chief Executive of oneworld. The appointment comes as part of the leading airline alliance’s relocation to new headquarters in New York following a breakthrough year in 2010.

Ashby brings a wealth of experience to oneworld, which was voted “World’s Leading Airline Alliance” at World Travel Awards 2010 Grand Final in London last month.

After 16 years working for U.S. airlines, latterly as Senior Vice-President Alliances and then Executive Vice-President Marketing for USAirways, he then spent the past five years leading carriers in India and the Middle East, as Chief Executive of IndiGo and then of SAMA Airlines.

Ashby takes over the reigns from oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch, who is unable to relocate from Vancouver to New York for family reason. He spent 10 years with the central alliance team – the last seven as Managing Partner.

New Chief Executive Bruce Ashby commented: “oneworld has set the benchmark in the increasingly important arena of airline alliances, with its grouping of best-in-class carriers from each region and its focus on quality and innovation. It is a privilege to be invited to succeed John McCulloch to lead oneworld forward, as it becomes an even more vital element of its member airlines’ own strategies.”


(oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch is stepping down after ten years at the world’s leading airline alliance)

John McCulloch said: “It’s been a real privilege to be part of oneworld virtually from its birth to positioning it firmly as the world’s leading airline alliance.  The relocation of our central alliance team to the world’s biggest airline market at this stage in oneworld’s evolution makes clear sense.  Personal circumstances prevent me from being part of that future, but I am committed to achieving a full and seamless transition, working with Bruce as he beds in, to ensure oneworld continues on its journey towards pre-eminence.”


(The oneworld alliance members)

Bruce Ashby: Career Brief
Bruce Ashby entered the airline industry in 1987 as a consultant, and then full-time in 1989 as Manager Operations Research with United Airlines.  He remained with United until 1995, serving in several positions, including Vice-President Financial Planning and Analysis and Vice-President Finance and Treasurer.

He then moved to Delta Airlines, as Vice-President Marketing Development.
In 1996, he joined USAirways as Vice-President Financial Planning and Analysis.  In 1997, he was named its Senior Vice-President Planning and then, in 1999, Senior Vice-President Corporate Development and IT.

He served as USAirways Senior Vice-President Alliances from 2003 to early 2005 – as the airline joined Star Alliance – before stepping up to become Executive Vice-President Marketing.  At the same time, he also led USAirways Express, the group’s regional operation, as its President, from 2003 to 2005.

During this time, he played a central role in the restructuring of USAirways out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and negotiating and planning its merger with America West.
As the merger was completed in late 2005, he moved to India to launch Indigo as its CEO. After three years leading the Indian airline, he was recruited in late 2008 to serve as CEO of Saudi Arabia’s SAMA Airlines.

Besides English, he speaks French, Italian and some Hindi.  Aged 49 and with U.S. citizenship, he is a graduate of Stanford University and based in Virginia, near Washington DC.