Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group has appointed Antonoaldo Neves as its new CEO, it said on Wednesday.
Neves will replace Tony Douglas, who has decided to pursue an opportunity elsewhere and will serve during his transition period as an advisor to the Board of ADQ Aviation and Aerospace Services Company.
Antonoaldo Neves was CEO and Board Member of TAP, the National Airline of Portugal, where he successfully led a major turnaround that resulted in a more valuable company, with better customer service and more passengers, significantly contributing to tourism development in Portugal. Prior to TAP, Neves was the President of Azul Airlines in Brazil, where he successfully led the company to IPO in the NYSE. He was also a partner at McKinsey and Company, where he developed the long-term plan for the aviation sector development in Brazil.
“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 program,” said Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of Etihad Aviation Group. “As we’re entering our next phase of sustainable growth, we are confident that Antonoaldo will build on Tony’s legacy”
Neves said in the statement he was excited about his role at Etihad, “a globally well-known brand in the industry,” and said he was confident it would continue “its journey of sustainable growth.”
Etihad entered 2022 with a record-breaking first-half operating profit of $296 million. “These earnings are a testament to the restructuring program to reduce costs and preserve cashflow during the pandemic and on increased passenger travel demand,” the airline said in a statement.
Douglas served as Group CEO at Etihad Aviation Group since January 2018. Under his tenure he spearheaded and led the airline’s ambitious turnaround, as part of its initial transformation plan, by optimizing costs, streamlining processes and its travel network, successfully positioning Etihad for its next phase of sustainable growth.
“I am proud to have served as Etihad’s CEO over the past five years. The unprecedented challenges stemming from macro-economic conditions faced by the industry were successfully navigated through prudent measures undertaken to position Etihad on a sustainable path for the future,” said Tony Douglas, former Etihad Aviation Group CEO. “I am appreciative of all the support provided by my Etihad colleagues and looking forward to further supporting the evolution of the wider Abu Dhabi aviation ecosystem.”
This comes after the emirate’s government transferred Etihad’s ownership to wealth fund ADQ.