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Airbus appoints former JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes to lead in North America

The former JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes has been selected by Airbus to lead the aerospace company in North America. 

Hayes will take the helm of Airbus Americas following the news that the current Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Knittel will retire on June 3, 2024, after serving as the region’s top executive since 2018. 

Airbus announced the new appointment on April 22, 2024, citing Hayes’ 35 years of global aerospace leadership with senior executive roles at British Airways over the course of his 19-year tenure and JetBlue, where he was CEO for nine years. 

From 2020 to 2022, Hayes was also chair of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Board of Governors. 


“I am delighted to welcome Robin to Airbus,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. “Together with the leadership team we’re looking forward to having Robin and his vast industry experience onboard to further deliver on our strategic objectives for the region across all the Airbus businesses and further grow our North American footprint. I want to thank Jeff for his many contributions to Airbus’ success over the years, and I wish him all the best for a well-deserved retirement.” 

As Chairman and CEO, Hayes will lead the commercial aircraft business, and will have responsibility for coordination among the company’s helicopters, space, and defense businesses in North America. 

“After some time off, I am excited and energized to join Airbus and build on the incredible success in the region. I have known Jeff and the Airbus team for well over a decade and I believe they have done a terrific job leading Airbus in the Americas. It is an honor for me to take up this opportunity to be part of the Airbus team,” Hayes said.  

He added: “Airbus’ commitment to safety and decarbonisation is incredibly important to me personally, and I am both motivated by and committed to contributing to the Airbus purpose to pioneer sustainable aerospace.”   

In North America there are more than 10,000 Airbus employees across 50 sites. 

Knittel said that working at Airbus had been a “privilege” and he was “immensely proud” of the team’s accomplishments.  

Knittel will remain at Airbus through a transition period. 

The post Airbus appoints former JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes to lead in North America appeared first on AeroTime.

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