Airline Leadership Keynote Interview – Discussion with Adel Ali, CEO Air Arabia Group


John Strickland
JLS Consulting

John Strickland has 38 years of experience in the air transport industry, embracing all the major airline business models and holding senior positions with airlines including British Airways and KLMuk. He was instrumental in the decision by KLM to establish the low cost airline Buzz and in defining its network strategy. He founded JLS Consulting in 2003 to provide strategic advisory services for the air transport industry. Working internationally at Board Level, clients include airports, airlines, investors and other industry partners, who benefit from his expertise and excellent personal network. John is a leading commentator on the airline sector for media worldwide, providing informed business and financial analysis for the news agenda. He is seen regularly on channels including the BBC, Bloomberg and CNN.

Adel Al Ali
Board Member and Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia

Adel Al Ali is well known for being at the forefront of the development of modern aviation. His innovative achievements and contribution to air transport and tourism sector in the wider Arab world are globally recognised. He managed to transform Arab aviation in October 2003 when he set up Air Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa’s first low-cost carrier (LCC), opening up a market niche in the region whose existence few had suspected.

The pioneering aviator drove Air Arabia’s growth in the next decade into the largest low cost carrier in the MENA region, as well as the first publicly owned airline in the Arab World and it’s largest by market value. Drawing on his multiple years of experience with industry leaders such as Gulf Air and British Airways, Adel has also been able to guide Air Arabia to become amongst the world’s best run Low Cost Carriers, delivering a profit for every year in succession.

Under the leadership of Adel, Air Arabia’s business model has gone from strength-to-strength, enabling it to expand operations, enter new ventures and diversify into new revenue streams. Today, the Group holds a portfolio of successful businesses and projects, offering travel, tourism and hospitality services across the globe. In addition to being the Group Chief Executive Officer of Air Arabia, Adel is also the chairman of Sharjah Information Systems Associates, Alpha Aviation Academy and Cozmo Travel and he is a board member of Sharjah Aviation Services.

Adel has been awarded ‘Airline CEO of the year’ by various industry forums. He recently received the prestigious 2020 Laureate Award for extraordinary achievement in airline strategy. Earlier he won the “Airline Business Award” at the esteemed Airline Strategy Awards and he was also named ‘World’s best Low Cost Carrier CEO’ during the World LCC Congress. Adel has also entered the “Hall of Fame Award” in honoring his contribution to the Middle East Aviation.

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