23 Feb 2015 12:00
Etihad Airways, the national airline for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today announced the appointment of John Friel as its new General Manager in South Africa.
Based at the airline’s offices in Johannesburg, John is responsible for
leading Etihad Airways’ commercial operations in South Africa as it continues
to grow its presence and operations across the region.
John, a 16-year veteran in the travel sector, has a strong understanding
of managing the challenges and opportunities within the industry having worked
for a number of leading international airlines, where he developed excellent
contacts and worked closely with the tourism industry and across the aviation
and travel trade, both in South Africa and abroad.
He joined Etihad Airways in June 2014 as Regional Business Development
Manager in South Africa.
“We are very excited to have John take up his new position at our South
African office where he will continue to drive commercial success for the
airline in cooperation with its partners,” said Maurice Phohleli, Etihad
Airways’ Vice President Africa Sub-Sahara and Indian Ocean.
“South Africa is a very important market for us and John has
a wealth of commercial management experience and the right credentials to
accelerate the growth of our business there.”
Etihad Airways currently operates seven flights a
week between Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg. This, combined with a new daily
service operated by its codeshare partner, South African Airways, scheduled to
start on 29 March, will provide passengers with a double-daily service between
South Africa and the UAE, with access to key destinations on Etihad Airways’
fast growing global network in the Indian Subcontinent, Asia, Europe and North America.
The airline has announced plans to launch new daily services to Entebbe
and Dar es Salaam in May and December this year, bringing to 11 the total
number of routes into Africa and the Indian Ocean, alongside Cairo,
Casablanca, Johannesburg, Khartoum, Lagos, Mahé, Male, Nairobi and Tripoli.Born in Scotland,
John has been living in South Africa with his family since 2002.