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Tue 3 Jul 2018 01:15 PM

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Etihad Aviation Group announces sweeping reorganisation

Tony Douglas will also serve as CEO of Etihad Airways, while Peter Baumgartner will move into a senior advisory role

Etihad Aviation Group announces sweeping reorganisation
Under the sweeping changes, group CEO Tony Douglas will assume responsibility for Etihad Airways.

Etihad Aviation Group has announced a new organisational structure and operating model that will see it reorganised into seven distinct business divisions under CEO Tony Douglas, with current Etihad Airways CEO Peter Baumgartner moving into a strategic advisor role, the company announced on Tuesday.

The changes – effective immediately – will see the group organised into an operations division, as well as commercial, maintenance, repair and overhaul human resources, finance, support services and transformation divisions, led by a new executive leadership team reporting to group CEO Tony Douglas, who also assumes responsibility for Etihad Airways.

Previously, Etihad Aviation Group was made up of five business divisions: Etihad Airways, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners.

Streamline operations

“As we approach our 15-year anniversary, the reorganisation and restructure of the group and leadership team will help us lay the foundations for Etihad to optimise its value as a world-leading group, streamline operations, and capitalise on opportunities, allowing the business to focus on improving its core operating performance," Al Mazroui said. 

Al Mazroui added that following an improvement in operating results in 2017, the group is “confident that we are back on track this year, strengthening our position group-wide after a period of consolidation, bolstering our presence in key global markets, and continuing to support Abu Dhabi’s growth in the aviation, trade and tourism sectors.”

As part of the changes, Peter Baumgartner will now serve as senior strategic advisor to Tony Douglas, having led Etihad Airways as CEO since 2016. According to the group, he will advise at group level on global partnerships and innovation.

Additionally, Etihad Airways Executive vice president, commercial, has been promoted to chief operating officer, and will be responsible for core areas such as network operations, flight and technical operations, fleet engineering and aviation security and safety, as well as the Etihad Airport Services entity and the airline pilot and cabin crew community.

Robin Kamark, who joined the group in April 2017, will now serve as chief commercial officer and will be tasked with overseeing the airline’s overall commercial strategy, including cargo, sales, marketing, revenue marketing, customer service, network planning and alliances. Kamark will also be charged with leading Etihad Airways’ destination management arm, Hala, and Ray Gammell will assume responsibility for airline equity partners.

Other changes include the appointment of Ibrahim Nasser as chief human resources and organisational development officer, as well as be charged with the group’s Emiratisation programme. The changes have also seen the appointments of new chief engineering, financial, support services and transformation officers.

General counsel and company secretary Henning zur Hausen, senior vice president for government and international affairs Ahmed Al Qubaisi and vice president for corporate affairs Amina Taher will remain in their posts, reporting to Douglas.

Positive results

“We are now well equipped to deliver our plans as a reinvigorated innovator brand, with an optimised and profitable network, technologically advanced fleet, and a strengthened position as the global airline of choice, run by a seasoned team of talented professionals,” Tony Douglas said.

“The fact that almost half of our leadership team are UAE nationals reflects our strong succession planning efforts and a commitment to developing Emirati talent.”

Douglas added the group “is already seeing positive results even during this early phase of our transformation.”

“The eventual aim of this process is for Etihad to be in the best shape to ensure its long-term sustainability, enabling it to meet the challenges of an aviation industry in constant flux,” he noted.

"Etihad is now positioned to continue supporting the mandate of our shareholder, and the growth and prominence of Abu Dhabi.”

For 2017, Etihad Aviation Group’s core airline division reported a 22 percent improvement in core operating performance, driven by improved revenues of $6.1 billion and a 7.3 percent reduction in unit costs, albeit with losses of more than a billion and a half dollars that indicate the airline is still having to cope with the effects of a strategy that saw it absorb impacts from partners Alitalia and Airberlin which went into administration.

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