Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways Appoints Tony Douglas as New CEO


Etihad Aviation Group moved forward with its renewal by appointing British military and aviation veteran Tony Douglas to take charge of the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, succeeding James Hogan, architect of its failed bets on insolvent Alitalia SpA and Air Berlin Plc.

 Douglas will join Etihad as chief executive officer in January 2018 from the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence, where he was responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces, the state-owned carrier said Thursday in a statement. The executive has aviation experience, previously managing Heathrow’s Terminal 5 project and serving as CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports.
 “We are delighted to have Tony return to Abu Dhabi to lead Etihad,” Etihad Chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadel Al Mazrouei said in the statement. Douglas understands the region and “is also deeply knowledgeable about commercial aviation and keenly familiar with Etihad’s challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing industry.”

The new CEO inherits a unique set of challenges at the third-largest Gulf carrier. Hogan’s plan to build a global network around stakes in second-tier carriers faltered as both Alitalia and Air Berlin went bust in quick succession. With the oil price hovering around $50, travel demand in the region has been depressed for some time, and the airline, together with regional rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways, has been embroiled in an industry spat for years with U.S. competitors accusing them of thriving off subsidies from their state owners.



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