James Hogan, founding CEO of Etihad, was bounced from that carrier in 2017 after buying stakes in troubled airlines around the world and mounting losses that reached as high as $2 billion a year. These investments included stakes in air berlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia.
The dual Australian and U.K. citizen is accused of using his two passports, and flying to the U.K. via a third country, in a scheme to avoid mandatory quarantine – and now it’s believed he may have done it before, too.
Apparently he was caught after bragging about how he did it, and the person he shared this with turned him in to the U.S. government.
- On March 17 he flew Etihad from Abu Dhabi, where he maintains an office, to Geneva. U.K. arrivals from Abu Dhabi into the U.K. involve mandatory hotel quarantine at the passenger’s expense. He used his Australian passport.
- After two days in Geneva, on March 19, he caught a British Airways flight to London. On arrival he allegedly did not declare his having been in the U.A.E. and entered on his U.K. passport.
The United Arab Emirates is on the British ‘red list’ of countries with high spread of Covid-19 and anyone returning from there must quarantine in a government-listed hotel for 10 days at a cost of approximately $2400. Coming in from Switzerland doesn’t have this requirement as it isn’t included as a high risk country.
In addition to circumventing quarantine with the excursion to Geneva Hogan may have provided inaccurate information on his passenger locator form.
Once reported, Hogan was taken to quarantine and faces a potential fine of nearly $14,000. The government is also reported to be investigating whether Hogan skipped mandatory quarantine in February as well, flying Abu Dhabi to Geneva on February 17 and then on to London on February 19.
Hogan started his career at Ansett Australia, spent 13 years at Hertz and eventually became Chief Operating Officer of british midland and the CEO of Gulf Air.
While at Gulf Air, the governments that owned the carrier had a falling out. Qatar and Oman had been owners, and Bahrain and the UAE had row that led to Gulf Air dropping its UAE hub and James Hogan being hired by the Al Nahyan family to launch Etihad from their country’s capital.
Etihad is on a path towards becoming a shell of its former self. Since Hogan’s ouster from the airline, and exacerbated by the pandemic, it has unloaded or lost nearly all of its stakes in foreign carriers, shed aircraft, and reduced premium services.
(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)