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Etihad appoints new group CEO to lead turnaround

TONY Douglas will take over as group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group from January 2018, joining the Abu-Dhabi based airline group from the UK's Ministry of Defence.

He takes over from James Hogan, whose expansion strategy of investing in over six airlines worldwide left the airline group struggling with significant losses. These include equity stakes in Alitalia, Air Berlin and Virgin Australia.

In addition, Etihad, which is the third-largest of the Gulf trio, is struggling with slower travel demand after oil prices have tanked.

At the Ministry of Defence, Mr Douglas served as CEO of the Defence Equipment and Support department, where he was in charge of procuring and supporting the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces.

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Over the years, he has also held senior positions with airport operator BAA, including managing Heathrow's Terminal 5 project and as CEO of Heathrow Airport, as well as positions in the UAE, including CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company.

Ray Gammell, who has served as interim group CEO since May, said: "With new challenges and new opportunities, Tony will guide the company into the next phase of its development."