More surprises at Etihad Airways: VP Vijay Poonoosamy calls it quit

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Vijay Poonoosamy has been the voice of Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways as Vice President International Affairs. Vijay has been seen on panels, as a speaker at major travel and tourism-related events. He has been regarded as a reliable expert and was seen as the link between the aviation industry and the rest of travel and tourism.

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates has been going through some very tough times when their substantial Alitalia and airberlin investments turned sour and contributed to enormous losses for the carrier. This happened under the leadership of Australian CEO James Hogan who was forced to resign in 2017 and now lives in Switzerland. Vijay was part of the inner team with Hogan.

Surprisingly today Mr Poonoosamy announced he was leaving the airline. Mr. Poonoosamy would not comment why and what pushed him to resign.

He issued this letter today to friends, colleagues, and supporters:

Dear Friends,

It is with mixed feelings but an excited heart that I will leave Etihad at the end of the year.

I have found my just over 12 years with Etihad most challenging and gratifying. You have made them very memorable too.

I am told that I should be particularly proud of my work for Etihad, Abu Dhabi and the UAE including helping secure valuable traffic rights for Etihad to grow its network, contain the attacks by the three biggest US carriers, successfully challenge the rejection of most of our air berlin code shares by the German authorities, secure regulatory approvals for our investment in Jet Airways and resolve various issues with Governments worldwide. Same for my highest level engagements with ICAO, UNWTO, IATA, ACI, WEF, EU, WTTC and USTA as well as being elected President of the Montreal-based Hermes Air Transport Organization, whose members are recognized global aviation leaders, and being the only non-US airline executive on the Board of the Washington-based International Aviation Club.

I will be on leave as from 10 December.

I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Wonderful Festive Season and a Happy and Healthy 2018.

With best wishes, as always.

Vijay Poonoosamy
Vice President International Affairs

Vijay Poonoosamy, a national of Mauritius, is a barrister (Middle Temple) with a law degree from the University of Nottingham, a Masters degree in International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Post Graduate Diploma in Air & Space Law from the London Institute of World Affairs and a Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Vijay is the Director International Affairs of the QI Group. He is the President of the Hermes Air Transport Club and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Mobility, the World Travel &Tourism Council Advisors Circle, the World Routes Advisory Panel, the Board of Directors of US Travel Association, the Board of Governors of the International Aviation Club of Washington, DC, and the Advisory Board of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne.

Vijay was an Aviation Lawyer in London, the Managing Director of Air Mauritius, the Executive Chairman of Airports of Mauritius and the Vice President International Affairs of the Etihad Aviation Group (until 10 December 2017).

Vijay was Chairman of the 1994 ICAO World-wide Air Transport Conference, ICAO Rapporteur and Chairman of the 1999 ICAO Special Group on the Modernisation of the Warsaw Convention, Vice Chairman of the 2009 ICAO Special Committee on Aviation Security Conventions and Moderator at the April 2012 ICAO Air Transport Symposium, the March 2013 ICAO Pre-Air Transport Conference Symposium, the March 2015 ICAO Meeting on the sustainable development of Air transport in Africa and ICAO’s ICAN Symposia of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014.

Vijay was also Chairman of the Air Transport Committee of the African Civil Aviation Commission, Chair of IATA’s Industry Affairs Committee, Chair of the IATA Legal Advisory Council and Chair of the IATA Task Force on International Aviation Issues.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.