British Airways chief executive Rod Eddington was today named as the airline industry’s leading executive at the prestigious Airline Strategy Awards.
At a ceremony in Washington DC, Mr Eddington received the blue riband Executive Leadership award. The awards were presented during the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), attended by airline executives from around the world.
The award is given to the airline president or chief executive who “has demonstrated outstanding strategic thinking and leadership over the past year”.
Mr Eddington, 53, has overseen the delivery of British Airways’ Future Size and Shape strategy, which saw the airline achieve an annual profit of £135 million despite the crisis faced by the industry. He joined British Airways as chief executive in May 2000.
In making the award, the judges said:“Since arriving at BA, Rod Eddington has set about giving the carrier a renewed sense of strategic direction, along the way tackling the threat from Europe’s aggressive low cost competitors, advancing BA’s alliance relationships within regulatory constraints, and turning around the group’s flagging finances.
“The fundamental Future Size and Shape review unveiled at the start of 2002 made an important step in creating a cultural change at BA, backed by the big idea of cutting complexity from the business.
“The new online fares initiative launched in the middle of last year in shorthaul markets was a brave strategic decision and has begun to show some results, but perhaps most importantly it has begun the process of cultural change in the way that BA relates to its customers.”