Middle east

Emirates recruits Parker

Emirates has taken on prominent Australian lobbyist Andrew Parker to be its first head of ­global government relations and public affairs.

Parker, who's firm Parker & Partners has acted as a consultant to the airline on aeropolitical and government issues since 1999, has joined the Dubai-based carrier as senior vice-president in charge of public affairs and the environment. The role is a newly created one at Emirates and is the first time the carrier has added an environmental brief to one of its top level posts.

"Parker will report to the president of the Airline, Tim Clark, and focus on the airline's relationships with governments in its key markets around the world as well as issues like the Group's environment policy and position," says Parker & Partners, which says it has enjoyed a ­successful partnership with the ­carrier for several years.

Part of its success has been in lobbying for greater access to the Australian market, a particularly important strategic goal for ­Emirates, and Parker's appointment will boost this focus.

"It is a role I am thrilled to take on and will help build on Emirates powerful brand and focus on our plans for continued successful growth," says Parker. "From Open Skies in Dubai to the green credentials of the A380, Emirates has a great story to tell and I am looking forward to engaging with key stakeholders in our various markets."

Parker sold his firm to Ogilvy PR Worldwide in 2001 and will maintain a link to the business as it transitions to new leadership. Prior to forming P&P in 1998, Parker was a press secretary and political adviser to various Australian politicians. He was a journalist with The Australian Newspaper and Nine Television Network prior to that.


JetBlue sticks with Barnes...

After a search that reviewed several external candidates, JetBlue Airways has decided to go with its lead internal candidate Ed Barnes to be its chief financial ­officer. Barnes had been ­serving as interim chief financial officer since ­November 2007 following the departure of John Harvey.

"I am confident that Ed will be a great asset for JetBlue as we continue to enhance our financial performance," says Dave Barger, JetBlue's chief executive.

Barnes was brought in and promoted through the ranks by Harvey. He joined JetBlue in 2006 as vice-president cost management and financial analysis. Previously, he was chief financial officer of ­Assisted Living Concepts, a publicly traded company and has held various financial positions at Southwest and America West.

...as Franz joins the board

In a move that demonstrates his rising prominence at the Lufthansa Group, Christoph Franz, the chief executive of Swiss, has been appointed to the board of JetBlue Airways to represent Lufthansa's new ownership stake in the US low-fare carrier.

Franz "brings tremendous knowledge and understanding of the airline industry to JetBlue and we believe he will be an asset to us in many ways", says Dave Barger, JetBlue's chief ­executive.


JAL's Shinmachi retires

The chairman of Japan Airlines, Toshiyuki Shinmachi, will retire from the board at the end of this month.

JAL veteran Toshiyuki Shinmachi, 65, was elected president of JAL in June 2004 after an airline career focused primarily in its cargo business. In April 2005 he assumed the position of JAL Group chief executive, taking over from long-serving chief Isao Kaneko. But after only a year in the job Shinmachi resigned in 2006 along with several other senior executives amid a staff ­revolt against the carrier's leadership and was replaced by Haruka Nishimatsu. JAL, as it usually does with outgoing chief executives, appointed Shinmachi chairman.

JAL says Shinmachi has played a key role in JAL Group's business revival, which is "progressing well". He has also made a significant contribution to the strengthening of safety at JAL, ensuring that safety has been re-established as the airline group's number one priority, says the carrier. JAL does not plan to appoint a new chairman.

Source: Airline Business