17 Mar 2014 06:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has appointed James Mueller to the new position of Senior Vice President Sales. 

With more than 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry, Mueller joins Etihad Airways from United Airlines, where he worked for five years in various senior roles, including Vice President Asia Pacific and Vice President Atlantic and Pacific Sales.

Prior to this, he was employed for more than 15 years at Northwest Airlines / Delta Airlines, where his final position was Vice President Cargo Sales.

Mueller’s appointment follows the recent unveiling of the Etihad Aviation Group, a new structure marking the transition of Etihad Airways from a single airline to a wider global aviation and travel group. The structure, headed by James Hogan as Group President and Chief Executive Officer, includes the core airline and a separate division to coordinate and manage Etihad’s subsidiaries, joint venture companies and equity partners.

Another key element in the structure is the establishment of the Hala Group, which has been formed recognising the commercial opportunities that have grown beyond air travel across a variety of travel and hospitality businesses.

James Hogan said: “The creation of Etihad Aviation Group reflects our growth as one of the world’s leading airlines, and our continued diversification outside the core airline business, as we become a leading aviation and travel group.

“It is important to have focused leadership throughout the new structure and James Mueller is a great example of someone who has delivered superior business results in multi-cultural environments across a range of airline roles, covering sales, revenue management, marketing and distribution, and general management. He is a welcome addition to our management team.”

Mueller, a US citizen, will initially report to Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer Peter Baumgartner during the group structure’s transition phase. After the transition, Baumgartner will assume his new role as Chief Operating Officer of the newly formed Hala Group, while Mueller will report to the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, a new position that has been created to oversee the day-to-day running of the core airline. Recruitment for this role is ongoing.

Reporting to Mueller are Etihad Airways Vice President Global Sales Daniel Barranger, Vice President UAE Hareb Al Muhairi, Vice President Commercial Strategy and Planning Adam Phillips, and Vice President Direct Sales Justin Warby.

Commenting on his new appointment, James Mueller said: “My interest in aviation extends beyond the 20 years I have spent in the industry, and it’s been hard to ignore the phenomenal growth of Etihad Airways since its launch. With the recent creation of the Etihad Aviation Group, there’s no doubt that future developments will be even more ambitious and I am excited about the opportunity to contribute by leading the ever-expanding sales functions of Etihad Airways.”

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