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Gulf’s Top Aviation Experts To Advise On Airline Recoveries

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Laila Hareb Almheiri led the transformation of the GCAA while Stefan Pichler has developed
turnaround plans for a number of struggling airlines.

A group of some of the Middle East aviation industry’s most well-known and respected faces have come together to form the advisory board of a leading consultancy firm in the region.

Bauer Aviation Advisory’s (BAA) new advisory board includes the former CEO of Royal Jordanian, Stefan Pichler; Laila Hareb Almheiri, who led the transformation of the GCAA; Aya Sadder, the former incubator manager of Intelak, the MENA region’s first aviation, travel and tourism incubator; and former Lufthansa senior executive and training captain, Tilmann Gabriel.

The group of former CEOs and government and aviation leaders will provide strategic management advice to help airlines in the Middle East and beyond achieve sustainable growth.

Linus Benjamin Bauer, managing director of Bauer Aviation Advisory, said: “As the aviation landscape evolves, we have put together a distinguished and diverse group of industry professionals to form our new advisory board as we gear up to accelerate our long-term business growth in the Middle East.

“With the advisory board’s vast experience and expertise, not only will our clients gain immense value, but it will also help us build on the foundation set by our consultants who are increasing our market presence and working to shape a sustainable future for aviation.”

Who makes up BAA’s board?

Stefan Pichler has developed a reputation for his strategic turnarounds of airline businesses. As CEO of Royal Jordanian, he helped the airline return to profitability in 2017 and post positive financial results in 2018 and 2019. Pichler was also previously CEO of Jazeera Airways and worked closely with Etihad Airways as CEO of airberlin after signing restructuring deals with the UAE’s national carrier. Pichler also served as the CEO of Fiji Airways and Thomas Cook as well as the CCO of Virgin Australia and Lufthansa.

Laila Hareb Almheiri has more than 28 years’ experience in the aviation industry. Almheiri is recognised by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Aviation Women’s Association as one of the top 70 Women Inspiring Generations of Aviation Professionals in the world. Previously, Almheiri managed UAE Candidacy campaigns for a seat on the ICAO executive council and increased UAE air connectivity by securing multiple bilateral agreements that facilitated the growth of four major UAE carriers: Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, FlyDubai and Air Arabia.


Bauer added: “Having members like Stefan Pichler and Laila Hareb as part of our advisory board boosts our company’s reputation and long-term credibility in the marketplace. Their strategic expertise in organisational restructuring and strategic turnaround management will motivate clients to rethink how they can optimise their business models at a time when the industry recovery picks up pace.”

BAA is a Gold Sponsor of the Arab Aviation Summit, taking place in Ras Al Khaimah from 21-23 March 2021. The firm will host two workshops at the event, titled ‘Health Check: The Key to Operational Excellence’ and ‘The Contactless Passenger Journey: Adapting to a transformed airport experience driven by technology’, contributing its strategic expertise and global perspectives in discussions with the sector’s leading players.


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