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How can we build back better aviation after COVID-19?

Aviation StraightTalk #25: A live & exclusive interview with Tony Douglas, CEO Etihad Aviation Group
I hope you can join me at our next EUROCONTROL Aviation StraightTalk Live on Wednesday 26 May, 14:00-14:45 CET with one of the airline industry’s most experienced execs, Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas.

Brought into the Etihad top job in January 2018 to drive a turnaround programme, Tony drove an impressive 55% cumulative improvement in core results in his first two years – with Etihad starting 2020 in fine form with a 34% year-on-year core operating performance increase in the first quarter. And while the pandemic has slashed passenger numbers, with 2020’s 4.2 million people carried a pale echo of 2019’s 17.5 million, Tony’s vigorous hands-on leadership has seen the airline stay operating – and stay innovating.

Sustainability is central to the future of aviation, and here Etihad under Tony has been blazing ahead of the competition. 2020 saw the start of a revolutionary eco-demonstrator partnership with Boeing, the 787-10 “Greenliner”, which is trialling a wide range of innovative sustainability initiatives. All Greenliner CO2 emissions will be completely neutralised this year via an industry-leading aviation carbon offset programme, with Etihad pushing hard to achieve ambitious goals of halved emissions by 2035, and fully carbon-neutral by 2050.

Using the three-month suspension of passenger operations wisely, Tony and his team kept the airline busy, performing vital repatriation flights and transporting essential supplies, and designing a wellness programme that has been central to restoring passenger confidence – culminating in Etihad becoming the world’s first airline to guarantee flying with a 100% vaccinated crew and cabin crew.

Tony has also invested huge amounts of energy in continuing Etihad’s repositioning journey, resizing operations in light of the pandemic, centring future planning around an ultra-modern core fleet of 787 Dreamliners, and launching a low-cost partnership with Air Arabia, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi. Today’s Etihad looks in good shape to achieve that goal, with 2021 operations to the European network averaging out at 938 a month, only 47% down on 2019.

This Aviation StraightTalk, the 25th edition of our flagship business briefing with aviation’s key players, is not to be missed. Tony – whose CV encompasses a long list of top jobs in an impressive range of sectors – will be reviewing where aviation is right now, and where it needs to go to ensure the sector ‘builds back better’ and more sustainably.
I will provide a very quick market update at the start of this webinar, with Andrew Charlton, journalist and Aviation Advocacy Managing Director, conducting the interview.

Kind regards,
Eamonn Brennan
Director General EUROCONTROL


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