United executive Mueller joins Etihad as senior sales VP

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Etihad Airways has recruited United Airlines sales executive James Mueller to the newly created role of senior vice-president sales.

Mueller has been with United for five years, including vice-president roles covering Asia-Pacific and Atlantic and Pacific sales. He was previously with Northwest Airlines and then Delta Air Lines during a 15-year career where he rose to become vice-president cargo sales.

Mueller’s appointment follows the recent unveiling of the new Etihad Aviation Group structure under which the Gulf carrier is transitioning from a single airline into a wider aviation and travel group.

Mueller will initially report to Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner during the group structure’s transition phase, but will ultimately report to another newly created role - the airline's chief operating officer to oversee the day-to-day running of the airline - once Baumgartner moves to become chief operating officer of Etihad's new Hala Group. The latter division has been set up pursue opportunities in the wider travel and hospitality sector.

“It is important to have focused leadership throughout the new structure and James Mueller is a great example of someone who has delivered superior business results in multi-cultural environments across a range of airline roles," says Etihad chief executive James Hogan.