Etihad Names Managers Before Transition to Etihad Aviation Group

Etihad Airways announced a series of executive appointments, including the hiring of a former Air Canada manager to head operations as the carrier prepares for a transition into Etihad Aviation Group.

Rick Allen, formerly of Air Canada, was named senior vice president of operations, responsible for flight operations, guest services, crew resources, and operations logistics and standards, the airline said. Other posts at the national airline of the United Arab Emirates include the promotion of Chris Youlten to the new job of senior vice president for airport and network operations, reporting to the chief operating officer.

“The new structure marks the transition from a single entity airline to a wider global aviation group,” Etihad said in a statement yesterday. “It distinguishes the functions relating purely to Etihad Airways and those which support the growth and success of its subsidiaries, joint venture companies and equity partners.”

Etihad has built stakes in airlines including Air Berlin Plc, Air Seychelles Ltd., Aer Lingus Group Plc, Virgin Australia, Air Serbia and Jet Airways India Ltd., and is seeking regulatory approval to invest in Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline. The strategy feeds more traffic through Abu Dhabi, Etihad’s desert hub. Chief Executive Officer James Hogan is considering an investment in Alitalia SpA, the ailing Italian carrier.

Andrew Ward will assume the new role of senior vice president for marketing, a promotion from vice president. Fiona Morrison will be vice president for guest experience at Midfield Terminal, the airline’s new hub starting in 2017. Calum Laming will be vice president for guest experience, returning to Etihad after serving as general manager for customer experience at Air New Zealand since March 2013.

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