(MENAFN Editorial) Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced the next step in its long-term business strategy, with the creation of the Etihad Aviation Group, a new structure marking the transition from a single entity airline to a wider global aviation group.
The new Etihad Aviation Group structure, headed by James Hogan as Group President and Chief Executive Officer, distinguishes the functions relating purely to Etihad Airways and those required to interface with and support the growth and success of its subsidiaries, joint venture companies and equity partners.
Group President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said: "Ten years ago we started life as a small regional carrier, but with global ambitions. Since then we have grown to become one of the world's leading passenger and cargo airlines, and have expanded and diversified our operations outside the core airline business laying the foundations to become one of the leading aviation and travel groups in the world.
"It is important that this exciting new approach and philosophy is reflected in the way we organise ourselves. The new Etihad Aviation Group structure reflects this diversification and is a natural development to deliver continued and sustainable success for Etihad Airways and its partners.
A new position of Chief Operating Officer Etihad Airways has been created to oversee the day-to-day running of the core airline. Recruitment for this position is ongoing and the successful candidate will oversee the major areas of Marketing, Sales, Operations, Technical, Cargo, Flight Operations, Guest Services, Guest Experience, and Safety and Quality.
In addition to the core airline, the Etihad Aviation Group also includes a division to coordinate and manage Etihad's investment in its equity airline partners, and a new role of Chief Operating Officer Equity Partners will be created within the new structure to ensure an ongoing interface between the airline and its equity parters
The position will be responsible for leading the identification and realisation of synergy benefits across the equity alliance, as well as having direct responsibility for Air Seychelles and Air Serbia in which Etihad Airways has a management responsibility. Recruitment for this position is ongoing
A key element in the new structure is the establishment of the Hala Group, led by Chief Operating Officer Hala Group, Peter Baumgartner, formerly Chief Commercial Officer Etihad Airways. The Hala Group has been formed recognising the airline's commercial opportunities which have grown beyond air travel across a variety of travel and hospitality businesses.
The Hala Group will bring businesses together to drive commercial value for Etihad Airways, for Abu Dhabi and for the airline's equity alliance partners. It combines travel management provided by Hala Travel Management, destination management services of Hala Abu Dhabi, the internationally expanding wholesale and tour operating business, Etihad Holidays, and other major start-up initiatives such as a new global loyalty company.
Functions providing support to the wider Etihad Aviation Group will continue to be led by James Rigney as Group Chief Financial Officer, Ray Gammell as Group Chief People and Performance Officer, and Kevin Knight as Group Chief Strategy and Planning Officer. There will also be a new position of Group Chief Technology Officer for which recruitment is also ongoing
Mr Hogan added: "These are very exciting developments for our business and the strong team we have created in our new structure will greatly enhance and improve the way we work in harmony with our partner airlines and subsidiaries.
"It will ensure that we work more closely than ever before to maximise the tremendous opportunities and deliver a sustainably profitable future for Etihad Airways and wider Etihad Aviation Group members, while ensuring we meet ambitious targets relating to revenue, cost, and synergy benefits.