Etihad has announced today the departure of Karen Maloney after 14 years with the company. She will be sorely missed by the Irish travel trade and we at ITTN would like to wish her all the best for the future and we are sure we will see her soon. Karen told us that she looks forward to taking some time out after many, many years in the industry.
Needless to say, Karen has been an immensely popular figure in the industry, with lots of friends that will miss her enthusiastic presence. John Cassidy of Cassidy Travel told us how he’s known her since she worked for Bob Evans in Gullivers Travels “many, many moons ago,” running the shop in Donaghmede before moving into sales with Gulf Air and then Etihad.
“Karen was instrumental in setting up the golfing pro-ams in Abu Dhabi for the benefit of the Downs Syndrome Centre, which sparked Karen’s interest in golf – if there’s any benefit to this news it’s that she has time to work on her game, but I don’t really see her being idle for long,” John added. “With a background in travel agencies and airline sales, she is very well skilled and as soon as travel returns her skill set – and her natural enthusiasm – will be very much in demand.”
Rebecca Kelly, Head of Sales for Princess Cruises, said: “Not only did she bring a bit of glam to the airline industry, she was also an ear when you needed it and would always make time for me.”
“She invited me to my first event when I transitioned from travel agent to supplier and I will never forget that.”
“Thank you Karen for everything, you showed me that even us northsiders can do big things!”
Another good friend (as well as ex-colleague) of Karen’s is Dave Walsh, formerly of Etihad and now VP of Sales for Datalex. He speaks for many of us when he describes Karen as “one of the most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Always hardworking, honest & great craic. Through the many good times and the odd challenging one Karen always kept spirits up. I’ve no doubt it won’t be long before companies are knocking Karen’s door down to bring her smiling face back. Best of luck pal!”
Her replacement is Jeremy Pollock as Country Manager UK & Ireland, and his position was announced today by Jonathan Williams, who has been appointed Vice-President of Sales, Europe & North America.
“Jeremy has worked for Etihad Airways for 16 years, heading up our leisure sales team for the past decade, said Jonathan Williams. “He will lead the combined sales effort for both markets, including leisure and corporate sales.”
Williams will hold all commercial responsibilities in both regions, while developing relations with Etihad Airways’ trade and corporate partners. Williams replaces Martin Drew who moved from the position to become Etihad’s Senior Vice President, Sales and Managing Director, Cargo in November 2020.
Williams’ aviation career began in 1998 at American Airlines, where he held sales roles across the organisation. Prior to joining Etihad Airways as Regional Business Development Manager for Europe in February 2020, he led the UK corporate sales team for British Airways for five years.
“In November last year, Etihad announced a new operational model to better position us for recovery,” says Williams. “At Etihad, we are committed to focusing on our core offerings of safety, security and service. Together with my teams in Europe and North America, we will be working hard to welcome back travellers to our industry-leading passenger experience and Etihad Wellness programme.”
On Karen’s departure, Williams added: “Karen has been instrumental in Etihad’s success in the region during her tenure. We are very grateful for her commitment to Etihad and she will be greatly missed.”