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Etihad names new CEO as airline confirms Tony Douglas exit

New Etihad CEO Supplied
New Etihad CEO Antonoaldo Neves replaces Tony Douglas
  • Antonoaldo Neves previously turned around TAP airline in Portugal
  • Outgoing chief said to be joining new Saudi airline RIA

Etihad Aviation Group named Antonoaldo Nevesits as its new CEO today after confirming the departure of Tony Douglas, who is understood to be taking the helm at a new airline in Saudi Arabia. 

Neves was announced as group CEO while Douglas will serve during his transition period as an advisor to the board of ADQ Aviation and Aerospace Services Company.

Neves was previously CEO and board member of TAP, the national airline of Portugal, where he led a major turnaround. Prior to TAP he was president of Azul Airlines in Brazil, where he led the company to IPO in New York. 

“Tony has led Etihad through some of its most challenging times and has successfully turned the airline into a profitable and sustainable business over the past five years as part of its initial transformation programme,” Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of Etihad Aviation Group, said.

“As we’re entering our next phase of sustainable growth, we are confident that Antonoaldo will build on Tony’s legacy. 

“We thank Tony for all the hard work he has delivered.

“Etihad will continue to serve Abu Dhabi as the national airline of the UAE, delivering world class services and exceeding global benchmarks in the near future.”

Neves said: “Etihad Airways is a global brand in the industry. I’m excited to embark on this new role and build on the solid foundation left by Tony and the management team.

“I am confident that Etihad will prosper into new heights and continue its journey of sustainable growth.”

Etihad entered 2022 with a record breaking first-half operating profit of $296 million. 

Douglas served as group CEO at Etihad Aviation Group from January 2018 and led the airline’s turnaround by optimising costs, streamlining processes and its travel network.

According to reports he has agreed to join RIA which will operate as a second national carrier in Saudi Arabia, backed by the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Douglas has spearheaded Etihad’s stance on building a sustainable aviation sector.

The airline recently became the first to join the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA), an international group of practitioners and academics convened by the University of Cambridge in the UK. 

Aviation is responsible for around 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.