Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is reviewing its strategy of investing in European airlines and is seeking an exit in a shake-up that could lead to the departure of CEO James Hogan, company and industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
Etihad saw a strategy to take equity stakes in carriers like Air Berlin, Alitalia and Air Serbia as a way to expand its European network but losses have mounted with Air Berlin and Alitalia failing to turn a profit.
Etihad announced on Sunday it was cutting jobs, with local rival Emirates following a day later in reviewing its workforce as overcapacity and a stronger dollar squeeze earnings.
Hogan’s expected departure, which could come within the next three months according to the sources, and the Etihad restructuring was first reported by German daily Handelsblatt, which cited several sources as saying Etihad wanted to start unwinding its European investments in January.
“It is our long-standing policy never to comment on rumour or speculation,” Etihad said in a statement.