Keep watching

The news last month that Robert W. Strodel left Etihad Airways, after just 10 months as its chief executive officer, has sent alarm bells ringing across the industry. The reason behind the unexpected departure is unknown but there are several likely factors. But did the pressure get to Strodel?

  • E-Mail
By  Barbara Cockburn Published  June 1, 2006

|~||~||~|Even if the company is doing extremely well and hitting targets, the pressure of running a national airline, such as Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, is exhausting. There is a huge pressure to deliver in such a position, especially as the airline is government-owned. Etihad Airways has been expanding its network at an extremely fast pace, expecting its fleet to touch 18 aircraft by the end of this year, and introducing several new destinations each month. Such rapid expansion puts an enormous amount of strain on an individual. Clint Eastwood’s phrase “a good man always knows his limitations,” comes to mind when reflecting upon the situation. There is also the frustration of not having enough freedom whilst running a non-liberalised airline. For someone with Strodel’s extensive background, this would have been hard to deal with. Austrian Strodel worked for Lufthansa German Airlines for many years before his time at Etihad Airways. He started Lufthansa Cargo India in 1996, taking the reign as managing director. In 2001, he had founded his own aviation consultancy in Germany offering global aviation consulting services. Strodel, who had been serving Etihad Airways since its inception in 2003, was appointed as the airline’s CEO in July last year. Before that, he served as the airline’s head of cargo and mail. It is not clear as to the path Strodel will now take. However the airline will be holding a press conference to talk about the situation. But ‘hats off’ to Strodel for doing an extremely good job of running Etihad for the short time he spent there. Despite the pressure of running a national airline, he has expanded the airline’s destinations and increased the airline’s fleet capacity.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code