Abu Dhabi’s Etihad makes internal changes to adapt to new normal

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Etihad Airlines
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The second-largest airlines in UAE, Etihad Airways has announced a few organizational changes intended at modifying the company into a “mid-size, full-service” carrier with a structure that is “leaner, flatter and scalable.”

The new operating model will lead to changes in the airline’s executive leadership team as well. Chief Commercial Officer of the airlines, Robin Kamark has resigned and now the business units under Kamark’s supervision will be separated and transferred under the leadership of Chief Operating Officer Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Financial Officer Adam Boukadida and Terry Daly, who will take over the role of Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand and Marketing.

Mr. Al Bulooki will take charge for network planning, sales, revenue management, cargo and logistics, commercial policy planning and alliances in addition to his current roles. Mr. Daly will manage the department of marketing, brand and partnerships and the airline’s loyalty program named Etihad Guest, as part of his new role.

Senior vice president distribution and sales, Duncan Bureau is also leaving the company. Martin Drew will take over the Bureau’s portfolio in addition to his current duties as managing director for cargo and logistics.

The procurement and supply chain department and transformation office will be under the guidance of CFO Boukadida following the resignation of Akram Alami, the Chief Transformation Officer. He will also take charge of the Analytics Department of the company.

Mutaz Saleh will be quitting his position as Chief Risk and Compliance Officer. General Counsel, Henning zur Hausen will take further ethics & compliance responsibilities, while under Boukadida, the risk and success reporting will shift to become part of a new corporate strategy team. Business Continuity will be transferred to Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Senior Vice President Government, International and Communications.

Impacted by the pandemic

The pandemic which continues to hurt global air travel demand has hit Etihad hard too. In the first six months of 2020, the airline reported operating losses of $758 million with revenues affected due to the closure of international borders and the suspension of flights to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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Tony Douglas
Etihad Aviation Group

“After our best-ever Q1 performance, none of us could have predicted the challenges that lay ahead in the remainder of this year. As a responsible business, we can no longer continue to incrementally adapt to a marketplace that we believe has changed for the foreseeable future – that is why we are taking definitive and decisive action to adjust our business and position ourselves proudly as a mid-sized carrier”.

“The first stage of this is an operational model change that will see us restructure our senior leadership team and our organization to allow us to continue delivering on our mandate, ensuring long-term sustainability, and contributing to the growth and prominence of Abu Dhabi,” added Mr. Douglas.