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Top airline groups keep faith with incumbent chiefs in 2017

The world’s top airlines largely kept faith with their chief executives in 2017 as they navigated a year of record profits, with no changes occurring at any of the top 10 groups by revenue.

The only activity among the top 20 airline groups involved ANA, where Yuki Hirako replaced Osamu Shinobe, and Cathay Pacific, where Rupert Hogg replaced Ivan Chu.

Inside the top 50 meanwhile, ANA and Cathay were joined by several other carriers in making changes at the top, including EasyJet, Eithad Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways International, Hainan Airlines, Jet Airways and Air India.

Across the entire top 100, around one-fifth of airlines changed chief executives during the period.

Newcomers to the industry included South African Airways’ Vuyani Jarana, who joined from telecommunications firm Vodacom; Air India’s Pradeep Singh Kharola, who joined from Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation; Mario Dell’Acqua of Aerolineas Argentinas, who joined from state-owned air services company Intercargo; and Garuda Indonesia’s Pahala Mansury, who previously worked in the banking industry.

The departure of Carolyn McCall from EasyJet left just two female chief executives in the top 100 airline groups: VietJet Air’s Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao and Thai’s acting president Usanee Sangsingkeo.

To view a gallery of the most significant airline leadership changes during 2017 and a recap of our carrier rankings by finances and traffic, download Flight Airline Business’s free 2017-2018 review issue here: flightglobal.com/AirlineBusiness

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