Legendary Emirates vice chairman Sir Maurice Flanagan has retired from the company he helped found 28 years ago.
He was a key architect in the phenomenal growth of Emirates airline and Group, having overseen dnata's operations and subsequently every stage in Emirates' remarkable rise from regional carrier with two aircraft to global giant with a fleet of more than 170 aircraft.
Sir Maurice first arrived in Dubai in 1978 when he was appointed Director and General Manager of dnata. Six years later he led the 10-man team which hatched the plan to launch an airline in five months on a budget of just $10m, with no protection against competition in Emirates' home market, and no subsidy of any kind.
He was the managing director for the inaugural Emirates flight in 1985 and his pivotal role in the company’s development was recognised in 1990 when he was appointed Group Managing Director of Emirates Group. He became Vice Chairman and Group President in July 2003 and was promoted to his current role in 2006.
He started his career in 1953 with BOAC, the forerunner of British Airways, as a graduate trainee after serving in the Royal Air Force as a navigation officer. He ascended through a variety of overseas posts and returned to the UK in 1965 as a route planning manager.