In just days after Tony Douglas assumed his position as the Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, the national airline of the U.A.E. appointed Mark Powers—former JetBlue CFO—as its new Group Chief Financial Officer.
On his appointment Powers said, “I am looking forward to joining Etihad Aviation Group and taking on this unique opportunity to lead the financial development of the group’s divisions at this exciting moment in its history.”
At his new role, Powers will be responsible for the finance function of five of the carrier’s divisions including Etihad Airways, Etihad Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. Prior to joining Etihad, Powers served as the Professor of Finance at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School.
Powers comes with a wealth of experience within the aviation sector with stints as the Chief Financial Officer at the U.S. carrier JetBlue and in Northwest Airlines as Vice President Treasury, Corporate Finance and Continental Airlines, where he was Treasurer and Associate General Counsel. He was also associated with aircraft engine supplier, GE Aviation—subsidiary of GE—as Director Customer Finance and Commercial Engine Program.
Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said in a statement that he hoped Powers and his team would "play a pivotal role in helping to guide Etihad onto the next stage of its development.”
The new appointment comes at a time of turbulence in Etihad's balance sheets. Last year, the U.A.E. carrier incurred a $1.87 billion net loss majorly due to problems in two of its troubled European partner airlines, Air Berlin and Alitalia. Following this Etihad underwent a management shakeup when former CEO James Hogan stepped down in July after a 10-years long stint with the airline while former COO James Rigney also left the company.
In his new role, Powers will report directly to the CEO, Tony Douglas while Ricky Thirion, who has been Interim Group Chief Financial Officer, will resume his position as Group Treasurer of the carrier.