Emirates’ Vice Chairman and Group President Maurice Flanagan has received another major international aviation award for his role in the development of Emirates Airline into a global force.
Mr Flanagan was named winner of the Airline Business Award by the leading aviation magazine of the same name. The announcement was made during the third annual Airline Strategy Awards 2004 in London, attended by around 200 senior leaders of the aviation business. The ceremony took place in the Great Hall of the Lincoln Inn, one of the four Inns of Court, ancient homes to London’s legal community.
This is the second major industry award bestowed on Mr Flanagan this year. In February, he was named Personality of the Year by Flight International magazine.
Announcing the award, the Editor of Airline Business Kevin O’Toole said it was made “in recognition of long-standing and sustained contribution to industry strategy.”
Mr O’Toole applauded Mr Flanagan’s 50-year contribution to commercial aviation and the central role he played in planning and launching Emirates Airline 19 years ago. He has played a major role in its development ever since.
He said: “Maurice Flanagan has helped to create Emirates from scratch into an airline that is now the model for others. Whilst doubling in size every four years on average, Emirates continues to deliver sustained profitability. This award is not simply in recognition of recent major announcements, like the US$19 billion of new aircraft orders that were placed at the Paris Air Show last year, but for his contribution to a company that is also making money from its aircraft.”
The award comes on the heels of Mr Flanagan’s 2003 golden jubilee in the aviation business, spanning the entire second half of aviation’s century-old history. The 100th anniversary of the first successful flight by a self-powered airplane, achieved by the Wilbur and Orville Wright brothers in North Carolina, was observed on December 17, 2003.
Mr Flanagan, born in Leigh, Lancashire (UK), joined BOAC (predecessor of the present-day British Airways) in 1953, fifty years after the Wright brothers’ historical flight and after having served in the UK’s Royal Air Force as a navigation officer. In 1978 he moved to Dubai, where he ran Dnata, today the second largest of the Emirates Group companies.
Seven years later the government of Dubai threw him an once-in-a-lifetime challenge to play a key role in the creation of a new airline. He became Managing Director of Emirates from its launch.
Mr Flanagan said: “I am deeply honoured by this award, which I accepted on behalf of the entire Emirates Group team that has turned our company into a hugely successful business story. Every Group team member counts - on the ground and in the air, at our Dubai home base and around the world - and shares in this accolade.
“The award is also wonderful recognition for the unbeatable combination of Emirates and Dubai, from where we operate in an unprotected open skies environment, in free competition, for the true benefit of our customers.”
The Emirates Group Chairman, HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, also applauded the announcement. He said: “Maurice has played a pivotal role in the development of Emirates into a truly global brand and business. This award is well deserved personally for Maurice and for every member of the Emirates team, because they all play a part in the Group’s continued success and in keeping us ahead of the competition.”
He added: “Maurice has been instrumental in keeping Emirates focussed on what really matters - providing the best service for our customers. In doing so, Emirates has become the world’s fastest growing intercontinental airline and the award underlines this achievement.”