Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced the appointment of James Hogan as CEO with immediate effect. Mr Hogan joins Etihad following a distinguished career in the airline industry during which time he has played key restructuring and brand-building roles, culminating in his tenure as president and chief executive of Gulf Air, where over four years he successfully redefined and restructured the company.
Mr Hogan will take on executive responsibility for Etihad’s operations. The appointment is in line with the national carrier’s stated objective to achieve and sustain a pre-eminent global market position, and in doing so build on the airline’s rapid growth following its establishment three years ago.
Commenting on Mr Hogan’s appointment HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Chairman of Etihad Airways, said:
‘Mr Hogan combines extensive experience of the airline industry with in-depth understanding of the nuances, imperatives and opportunities inherent in the business climate in this region. We believe he is the right person to drive the business forward and realise Etihad’s enormous potential alongside the finest world-class airlines.’
Etihad has launched 35 new routes in as many months. In each of its first three years of operation the airline has had the distinction of winning the title of the world’s leading new airline at the World Travel Awards. Etihad is expected to carry four million Guests in 2007.
Commenting on his appointment as CEO, Mr Hogan said: ‘The current dynamic economic development in this region offers enormous challenges and opportunities for the airline industry. While it is relatively young, Etihad has already established a reputation for energy and speed which are evident in its unprecedented growth and the development of its state-of-the-art fleet and product. I believe that we can build on these strengths to position Etihad as a leader in the international and local markets.’
Mr Hogan is joined at Etihad by James Rigney who takes on the position of vice president finance with immediate effect. Mr Rigney, former head of corporate strategy at Gulf Air, has a decade of experience in high-level strategic financial management and structuring within the airline and aviation sectors. Reporting directly to the new CEO, Mr Rigney will work closely with Mr Hogan in all matters relating to the financial performance of Etihad.
Mr Hogan joined the airline industry in 1975 with Ansett Airlines in Australia. He subsequently held senior executive positions in the car rental, hotel and airline industries in Europe with Hertz, Forte Hotels and bmi British Midland.
Etihad won World’s Leading New Airline as well as other awards at the recent World Travel Awards.