Abu Dhabi’s Etihad reorganises in drive to return to profit

An Etihad Airways Boeing 777-3FX aircraft takes off at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France, August 9, 2016. (Reuters pic)

DUBAI: Etihad Airways is reorganising into seven business divisions and group CEO Tony Douglas is taking over direct responsibility of the airline business as the Abu Dhabi-based group strives to return to profit.

State-owned Etihad has been overhauling its business since 2016, when it plunged into a loss following a slowdown in airline passenger growth and failed investments in foreign airlines such as Air Berlin and Alitalia.

The company said on Tuesday the reorganisation would help to improve its operational performance, but did not give any details of, for example, cost savings.

It said Group Chief Executive Tony Douglas had taken over direct responsibility of the airline from Peter Baumgartner.

Baumgartner, who had run the airline since 2016, is now a senior strategic adviser to Douglas, who joined Etihad in January from Britain’s ministry of defence.

The seven divisions will be headed by a new leadership team reporting directly to Douglas. The divisions are operations, commercial, maintenance, repair & overhaul, human resources, finance, and support services and transformation.

Few details about Etihad’s ongoing restructuring have been made public, although it has included reviewing billions of dollars of aircraft ordered from Airbus and Boeing.

Etihad, which competes with Emirates and Qatar Airways, also said it had appointed Mohammad al-Bulooki as chief operating officer and Robin Kamark as chief commercial officer.