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James Hogan named aviation industry’s Executive Leader of the year

15 Jul 2013 09:00

James Hogan, President and CEO of Etihad Airways, has been recognised for his “outstanding strategic thinking and leadership” in winning the Executive Leadership category at the prestigious annual Airline Strategy Awards, held in London. 

The award was announced at a gala ceremony held at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and attended by hundreds of senior airline executives from around the world.

The Executive Leadership Award was chosen by a panel of expert judges from the aviation industry after a thorough examination of Etihad Airways’ performance in the last 12 months.

In-depth analysis was conducted on the airline’s increased profitability, industry leading growth and unique new partnership strategy with other air carriers. 

The Airline Strategy Award follows Mr Hogan being named CAPA Aviation Executive of the Year 2012 in which he was recognised for his “influence on the aviation industry, outstanding strategic thinking, and innovative direction for growth”.

Max Kingsley-Jones, who chairs the judging and is editor of the Airline Business magazine, said: “I’m delighted that we have recognised James Hogan with the Executive Leadership award this year. The judges were hugely impressed with every aspect of his leadership of Etihad Airways and the innovative ways in which the air carrier has grown in stature and success. 

“In the past 12 months many airlines around the world have struggled with their business during challenging economic times but James has spearheaded a remarkable growth story and the panel was delighted to make him the aviation industry’s executive leader of the year.”

The judging panel included Geoff Dixon, former Managing Director and CEO of Australian airline Qantas, Ray Webster, former CEO of low cost carrier easyJet, Doug Steeland, the former President and CEO of US carrier Northwest Airlines, Professor Rigas Doganis, former head of air transport at Cranfield University and Chris Tarry, one of the most highly rated aviation analysts in London’s financial market.       

Mr Hogan said, “I am very honoured to have been recognised by fellow leaders within the global aviation industry and this is a great accolade for all of us at Etihad Airways and our shareholders in Abu Dhabi.

“Five years ago I signed on behalf of Etihad Airways the world’s biggest order for commercial aircraft – 205 narrow and wide body planes – at the Farnborough Air Show. Since then we’ve made great strides and none more so than in the past year.

“This recognition is the culmination of an incredible 12 months in which we’ve increased our profitability, focused a great deal of energy on customer service while, of course, never taking our eye off safety, and  powered forward with our strategy of developing the world’s first equity airline alliance.”

Etihad Airways in 2012 reported a 200 per cent increase in net profits to $42 million on revenues of $4.8 billion, a rise of 17 per cent on the previous year.  Passenger numbers rose by 23 per cent to more than 10 million and the air carrier contributed $2.3 billion of direct investment to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and $8.4 billion of indirect spend. 

The airline signed a number of new codeshare partnership agreements with other airlines around the world in its drive to establish a new business model for air travel.  In 2012 the strategy boosted Etihad Airways’ revenues by $600 million.

The collaboration deals with other airlines are designed to find innovative ways to address costs and work on synergies such as aircraft and engine sourcing and maintenance.      

The airline also holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus and, subject to regulatory approval, will acquire 24 per cent of India’s Jet Airways.
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