United Arab Emirates
James Hogan reports directly to Etihad Airways chairman HH Dr Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saif Al Nahyan. However, it is the Australian-born former boss of Gulf Air who is the driving force behind the UAE flag carrier’s emergence as one of the world’s leading airlines.
When he joined Etihad in 2006, Hogan brought more than 30 years of travel industry expertise to the carrier. It has proved invaluable: Etihad experienced its strongest ever first half year between January and June this year.
The carrier recorded strong growth in traffic during the period, with passenger numbers rising 11% from the same period in 2009 to reach almost 3.3 million. Seat occupancy factors increased from 71.5% to 72.5%, despite the disruption caused by ash cloud crisis in April and May.
Etihad has expanded its network this year launching flights to Tokyo, becoming the first Middle Eastern airline to operate the route.