Last Thursday the CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, delivered a keynote address at the Global Airfinance Conference in Dublin. Hogan, spoke passionately about the foreign investment strategy that Etihad has pursued under his leadership.
Speaking of the equity stakes that Etihad now holds in seven foreign airlines, Hogan said: “Our investments had an immediate impact on the revenue side, delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues and allowing us to fill our onward connecting flights. Those benefits have been replicated in all our minority investments in airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional.”
Speculation Has Mounted Since December
His comments were typically bullish and sought to end recent speculation surrounding the airline. In December, the German financial newspaper Handelsblatt, citing unnamed sources, reported that Hogan was to be fired following the perceived failure of his flagship strategy.
In Dublin, Hogan hinted at some of the problems that have beset Etihad: “…we also face some significant challenges. Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Etihad Regional have all used our capital investments to help structure their businesses into more efficient and profitable operations.”
But he insisted that it had been worth it: “in those cases, our long-term investments are already delivering a return,”
Hogan to go in Second Half of 2017
But just days later, in a short and detail free statement, Etihad has today confirmed that James Hogan will be stepping down as President and CEO of the Etihad Airways Group in the second half of 2017. The airline’s Chief financial officer, James Rigney will also be leaving the company at the same time.
The newsgroup, Reuters has reported that the departure of Hogan comes as the airline undertakes a review of its strategy in what has been described as a “challenging environment”.
Despite its recent problems, Etihad’s equity investment programme has helped the group of companies grow by USD $300 million a year with revenues of USD $26 billion. As Hogan, stated at the Global Airfinance Conference, Etihad Airways is only one part of a wider group of companies that has contributed to Abu Dhabi’s power in the aviation industry.
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Photo Credit: Etihad Airways
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