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60
S IMPLY ABU DHABI
JAMES HOGAN
CEO ETIHAD AIRWAYS
James Hogan was appointed CEO of Etihad Airways – one of the world’s most dynamic airline
companies – on 10 September 2006, bringing more than 30 years of aviation and travel industry
expertise to the Abu Dhabi-based airline and proving instrumental in its subsequent growth. In
2011, James was ranked number two on the Arabian Business Expat Power List for the second year
in a row and it’s not difficult to appreciate why.
James Hogan grew up in Melbourne, Victoria, attending
Ivanhoe Grammar School where he graduated in 1975.
His remarkable career in travel began in 1975 at Ansett
Airlines as a check-in agent at Melbourne’s Tullamarine
Airport. James went on to hold several jobs at Ansett, in
a variety of front-line, commercial and operational roles.
In 1984, he joined car rental company Hertz spending
14 years there building up a notable and diverse skill set
in a variety of demanding roles including directorships of
the marketing, sales and operations divisions. In 1995,
based in London, he joined the executive management
committee as Vice President, Marketing & Sales for
Europe, Middle East and Africa.
In 1997, James became service director for bmi British
Midland, leaving in 1998 to join the Granada Group
as worldwide sales director, where he sat on the board
of Forte Hotels. He returned to bmi in 1999 as Chief
Operating officer where he was responsible for flight and
ground operations, sales and marketing, commercial,
cargo, engineering and handling service companies, and
was a member of the Board. James moved back to his
native Australia in 2001, where he continued to achieve
industry success being appointed as Chief Executive
of the Tesna consortium, which was created with the
aim of acquiring Ansett Airlines from administration,
before joining Gulf Air in 2002, where he served as
Chief Executive for four years. Such positive industry
experience in high-powered influential roles has proved
immeasurably beneficial in his current role taking Eithad
Airways forward in times of economic uncertainty for the
industry.
His dedication to the aviation industry has been
unswerving which has resulted in huge successes despite
having to overcome some of the most testing challenges.
For example, during his time at Gulf Air, James took
the oldest carrier in the Gulf from loss-making to
profitability in just three years. This remarkable success
was achieved despite the withdrawal of major government
shareholdings, some of the highest fuel prices in history
and the unique challenges presented by SARS, the Boxing
Day tsunami and the Iraq War.
In July 2008, he signed one of the largest aircraft orders
in history for up to 205 aircraft worth approximately US
$43 billion at list prices, to meet the airline’s ambitious
long-term growth plans. A leading player in the aviation
industry, his progressive outlook is both recognised
and rewarded frequently. CEOMagazine named him
Aviation CEO of the Year in 2008 and Visionary of the
Year in 2010. An industry force to be reckoned with,
he has overseen the rapid growth of the UAE’s national
airline over the past four years, adding 33 new destinations
and 40 new aircraft, and increasing the number of
passengers carried each year from 2.7 million to 7.2
million. He has a fierce commitment to strong customer
service values, striving always to provide travellers with
exactly what they want.
James is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a
member of the International Air Transport Association
(IATA) Board of Governors and a former non-executive
director, and member of the Board’s audit committee, of
Gallaher Plc and was appointed to the International Air
Transport Association Board of Governors at the IATA
Annual General Meeting in Singapore in June 2011.
This progressive expat has achieved incredible success,
making a massive contribution to the travel industry in the
UAE and with his steadfast dedication to the customer
experience, shows no signs of slowing down any time
soon.
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