Aviation is an interesting game, as it has made and marred the fortunes of many. There are so many variables at play, and some of them are not always in our own control. Like I wrote about earlier, James Hogan is stepping down at Etihad Airways in the second half of this year, and a hunt for a successor is on.
Various media outlets are reporting that ex-Air Lingus and Malaysia Airlines hand Christoph Mueller is slated to be the next person to head Etihad. Per the Handelsblatt:
The Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad may be on the verge of appointing Christoph Müller as its chief executive. Formerly CEO of Irish flagship carrier Aer Lingus, he also gave Malaysian Airlines a new lease on life after the twin disasters of 2014.
Mr. Müller is an industry turnaround expert. Having brought Ireland’s Aer Lingus back from the brink, he breathed life back into Malaysian Airlines after two of its planes crashed within months of each other in 2014.
Mr. Müller has been chief digital officer with the neighboring and arch-rival Persian Gulf carrier Emirates since last September.
The recent laptop ban, apart from a slowing economy, a strong dollar and neighborhood wars with Emirates (capacity too much?) have been not exactly helping Etihad over the past months. Their plan of an equity led alliance also seems to be going nowhere for the moment with two airlines not coming back from the brink.
We will keep an eye on how this plays out, because it also has a direct impact on how Etihad plays out for the rest of the world as well. Their Equity alliance is not something they will be able to get out of so easily so this is a choice I see them having to live with for the foreseeable future.
Anybody guessing what changes are coming at Etihad?