Former Etihad CEO tried to avoid UK quarantine
James Hogan was CEO of Etihad Airways for more than a decade, from 2006 until 2017 (more on that in a bit). He now runs a business advisory firm, and frequently travels between the United Kingdom (where he lives), Switzerland (where he has an office), and the United Arab Emirates (where he has another office).
It seems that on a recent trip to the UK he was caught trying to violate quarantine rules, and he’s now facing a fine of up to £10,000. Here’s what allegedly happened:
- Hogan flew from Abu Dhabi to Geneva on March 17, and entered the country with his Australian passport
- Hogan then flew from Geneva to London on March 19 (two days later), and entered the country with his UK passport
- The UAE is a UK “red list” country, meaning Hogan would have to quarantine in a managed facility if he had been in the UAE in the past 10 days (which he had)
- Hogan didn’t declare that he had been in the UAE on his passenger locator form
How did he get caught?
UK Border Force allegedly met Hogan when he arrived at Heathrow Airport. How was he caught? It’s believed that a whistleblower in either the UAE or Switzerland contacted the British Embassy after “hearing Mr. Hogan boast about his travel arrangements.” I suppose this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but it sure seems that someone who didn’t particularly like Hogan decided to report him.
Officials are apparently also now looking into whether Hogan breached quarantine rules during a prior trip to the UAE, given how often he travels between the three countries.
This is probably good publicity for Hogan
You might think that this story is bad publicity for Hogan, but I’d disagree. Why? The Daily Mail refers to Hogan as “one of Britain’s most successful airline chiefs.”
I mean, perhaps that’s true in terms of him enriching himself, and I also have to give him credit for really working his way up in the airline industry, as he started by working at an airline check-in desk, and eventually became CEO of some major airlines.
But seriously, look at Hogan’s track record:
- He started his career at Ansett Airlines, which is no longer in business (in fairness, he was in a junior role at the time)
- He then held senior positions at British Midland (which doesn’t exist anymore) and Hertz (which is in bankruptcy)
- He was CEO of Gulf Air, which was the biggest airline in the region back in the day, but unfortunately nowadays is almost irrelevant (in fairness, Gulf Air is improving slowly and steadily)
- Then he was CEO of Etihad for over a decade; first he grew the airline endlessly with no real plan, and then the whole thing unraveled, as the airline is now a shell of its former self, and the “Etihad Airways Partners” concept might be the worst investment strategy we’ve seen in the history of the airline industry
And now the guy runs an advisory service intended to help others “release the real value in their business assets.”
The former CEO of Etihad has allegedly been caught trying to violate the UK’s quarantine requirement, as he tried to use different passports to make it seem like he hadn’t recently been in the UAE.
But apparently he boasted about his plans, and someone reported him to UK authorities, causing him to be intercepted. I wonder if he’ll actually be fined, or if this is just an empty threat from the government.