Abu Dhabi’s Etihad appoints new CEO for engineering division

Abdul Khaliq Saeed replaces Jeff Wilkinson, who is leaving the post after 11 years with the company

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) has appointed Abdul Khaliq Saeed as the new CEO of its engineering division, the company announced on Wednesday.

He replaces Jeff Wilkinson, who is leaving the post after 11 years with the company. No specific reason was given for his departure.

Saeed joins Etihad Airways Engineering from Abu Dhabi based-Turbine Services & Solutions (TS&S) where he served as CEO since 2014.

Before joining TS&S, he was president and CEO of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) until it was acquired by Etihad and became Etihad Airways Engineering in 2014. He has also held senior positions within Mubadala Aerospace, Jet Airways, and Gulf Air.

Etihad Airways Engineering is the largest commercial aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services provider in the Middle East. It has served more than 100 airlines and aviation operators from around the world over the last 25 years.

As a subsidiary of the EAG, the company offers line, light and heavy maintenance services, including design, advanced composite repair, cabin refurbishment and component services, from its facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The company is also the first in the region with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval to manufacture 3D-printed aircraft cabin parts.

The latest announcement comes even as EAG undergoes major structural and management changes.

Its long-serving CEO James Hogan, who spearheaded the airline’s strategy to buy minority stakes in other airlines across the world, left the company on July 1.

Executive Ray Gammell was appointed as interim Group CEO in May, with the main position yet to be filled.

Also read: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad delays appointment of new CEO

Last month, Etihad also announced a net loss of $1.9bn for 2016, its first loss since the carrier started making money in 2011.

Etihad booked one-off impairments of $1.9bn that included $1.06bn on aircraft and $808m on “certain assets and financial exposures to equity partners, mainly related to Alitalia and Air Berlin,” it said.

Read more: Etihad Airways posts $1.87bn loss in 2016 amid turbulent year