An Abu Dhabi-based consultancy firm run by ex-Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan and the airline’s former chief financial officer James Rigney is reportedly to be paid €200,000 per month to help ‘transition’ Air Malta into a new airline.
Hogan was at the helm of Etihad Airways between 2006 and 2017, during which time he says he transformed the carrier from a company worth $300 million into a travel and tourism group valued at more than $20 billion.
But Hogan’s 11-year tenure at Etihad came to an abrupt end after he orchestrated a disastrous equity investment scheme that plunged the government-owned airline to a $1.87 billion loss, which threatened the very future of the carrier.
Since leaving Etihad, however, Hogan has found success with Knighthood Global, a consultancy firm with offices in Abu Dhabi and Geneva, as well as in Malta.
Knighthood Global was previously paid a reported €2.4 million to help restructure the beleaguered and perenially loss-making flag carrier Air Malta in 2021 but less than two years later, the airline is once again facing an uncertain future.
At the beginning of October, the Maltese government confirmed that Air Malta would shut down early next year after the European Commission refused a request to pump an additional €290 million of state aid into the airline.
Hogan hasn’t only been connected to Air Malta through Knighthood Global, however. In 2015, Etihad Airways was in talks to take a share in the airline but the deal apparently fell through at the last minute.
Details of what exactly will happen to Air Malta and what its successor will look like remain unclear, although we do know that the airline will cease operating in its current form on March 31, 2024.
Air Malta isn’t to be confused with the similarly named Malta Air which is a joint partnership between European behemoth Ryanair and the Maltese government.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.