Wood Takes On Americas External Relations Role

British Airways has appointed John Wood to head up its government and regulatory activity in the United States and the rest of the Americas.

As Executive Vice-President External Relations for the Americas, based in Washington, he will follow on from Tony Fortnam who will retire as Vice-President Government Affairs USA later this year.

John will represent British Airways in its dealings with the US Federal Government, particularly with the White House, the Department of Transportation, the State Department and Congress, and in its dealings with US State and local governments.

He will also handle the airline’s relations with other Government organisations across the rest of the Americas.

He will play an important part in the delivery of British Airways’ alliance strategies for North America during what is expected to be a period of significant regulatory change.


He will report in London to Andrew Cahn, the airline’s Director of Government Affairs, with a dotted line to Roger Maynard, Director of Investments and Joint Ventures.

Andrew Cahn said: “I am delighted to have been able to attract someone of John’s breadth of airline, US and alliance experience to build on the tremendous work of Tony Fortnam at this important time with a new administration at the White House and British Airways and American Airlines looking to deepen their relationship.”

Before taking on his current position as Director of Commercial Policy and Planning a year ago, John was Director for the Americas, based in London.

In this and previous jobs, he gained considerable experience of alliance and regulatory issues. As Director for the airline’s activities in Asia-Pacific for three years from 1996, he was responsible for developing its links with Qantas.

Before this, he spend two years based in Canada, where he acted as joint country General Manager/Vice-President for both British Airways and its then partner USAir. This post followed a year spent as Head of USAir Co-ordination for British Airways, based in both London and Washington.

He gained further US experience earlier as the airline’s Senior Vice-President for USA Marketing, based in New York.

Other senior appointments with British Airways at its London head office have included General Manager World Sales, General Manager Capacity Management and Chief of Cabin Service Operations.

Aged 52, he joined the airline as a graduate trainee in 1970, after graduating from the University of Reading. He attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 1995, and the Airline Management Development Programme at Cambridge in 1983. He is married with two children and three grown-up step children.