The extraordinary achievements of the man who has steered Emirates on a seemingly inexorable path to success were recognised last night when Maurice Flanagan was named Aerospace Industry Personality of the Year.

In a glittering evening of celebration at Singapore's Ritz-Carlton hotel, Flanagan, president and vice-chairman of the Emirates Group, received the Flight International-sponsored award to mark a year when the Dubai carrier exceeded even its own heady expectations.


Flanagan oversaw a remarkable 2002-03 for Emirates when the airline achieved a 94% increase in profits to $247.1 million in a 12-month period which he himself described as "desperately wobbly for the world's airlines".

At 75 and with half a century of aviation experience behind him, Flanagan has navigated Emirates on a relentless road to growth, alongside chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, since the carrier's inception in 1985.

Flanagan took the reins as managing director when the UAE government set up Emirates and, as he recalls, "gave us $10 million, two Boeing 727s and the building that now houses our training centre and told us not to come back for more".

Source: Flight Daily News