Kuwait Airways Names A New CEO Following Resignation

Kuwait Airways has a new chief executive officer following the resignation of outgoing CEO Adel Al-Sanea. With Al-Sanea’s sudden and premature departure, Captain Eissa Al-Haddad, the carrier’s Chief Operating Officer, will take the job as interim CEO. Al-Sanea’s departure comes less than a year after he took the job with the airline, giving no public reason for leaving the job.

Kuwait Airways Names A New CEO Following Resignation
2020 and this first half of 2021 have been extremely challenging conditions for almost everyone in the aviation industry – airline CEOs included. Photo: Vincenzo Pace / Simple Flying

From aircraft pilot to airline chief

Not too much is known about incoming interim CEO, Captain Eisa Al-Haddad (also spelled Issa al Haddad). The new airline chief’s LinkedIn profile indicates that his previous post saw him as Kuwait Airways‘ Chief Operating Officer from November 2020 with no more information regarding work prior to this post.

Of course, Al-Haddad’s title as “Captain” and his listing of the civil aviation training company CAE as his education would indicate that there is some pilot experience in his background.

According to The Kuwait Times, the chairman of Kuwait Airways’ board of directors, Ali Al-Dakhan, publicly expressed that Al-Haddad had the trust and confidence of the board of directors in the executing of duties of the new post. One reason cited was his long experience in the aviation field, specifically with Kuwait Airways.

Kuwait Airways Names A New CEO Following Resignation
Kuwait Airways is one of the few airlines that has ordered the ‘rare’ Airbus A330-800. Photo: Airbus

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Less than eight months on the job

The other interesting aspect of this story is the sudden resignation of outgoing CEO Adel Al-Sanea. Al-Sanea submitted his resignation to Kuwait Airways’ board of directors, which was officially accepted last Wednesday. Board Chairman Al-Dakhan thanked Al-Sanea for his efforts in serving the company, also wishing him success with his future career.

It was in early September that Kuwait Airways announced that Adel Al-Sanea would be taking on the role of Acting Chief Executive Officer of the company. Al-Sanea was selected to replace Kamel al-Awadi until a new CEO could be appointed in his place.

Kuwait Airways Names A New CEO Following Resignation
Kuwait Airways is still searching for a more permanent CEO. Photo: Vincenzo Pace / Simple Flying

Kamel al-Awadi had been the CEO of Kuwait Airways since November 2018, leaving the post for a job with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as its new Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East (AME). Kamil Al-Awadhi just recently officially took up his position on March 1st.

Prior to the new job at IATA, he had spent an impressive 21 years at Kuwait Airways, moving up from engineering and quality control positions through to the airline’s executive team.

Thus, it looks like Al-Sanea’s job as the CEO of the airline was on a temporary basis. Likely filling the role more out of necessity with Al-Awadhi’s departure. Therefore, with Al-Haddad’s recent installation as interim CEO, we may see history repeat itself in the near future- as Kuwait Airways’ board of directors continues its search for a longer-term CEO.

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