The Gulf airline Etihad plans to remove James Hogan as its chief executive after a failed spree of acquisitions in Europe, multiple independent sources told Handelsblatt on condition of anonymity.
Mr. Hogan sought to expand Etihad’s presence in Europe, buying a 29-percent stake in Air Berlin in 2011. The Gulf airline then purchased Air Serbia in 2013 and bought a stake in Alitalia three months later.
But Etihad’s European expansion has proven to be a misadventure. The Gulf airline has suffered €2.5 billion ($2.6 billion) in losses from its investments in Europe. Air Berlin alone was €477 million in the red in 2015.
Etihad is now planning to roll back its European businesses. Supervisory board chairman Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh will lead the effort. The Gulf airline is considering selling its European holdings at considerably under value, one insider told Handelsblatt.
Etihad has declined to comment on its shift in strategy.
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