• IS HE INDISPENSABLE? AIRBUS COO-CUSTOMERS JOHN LEAHY. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    Being John Leahy

    Eleven or so years ago John Leahy took a 13-hour flight from London to Singapore, arrived on schedule and was briefed over breakfast by the local Airbus team. Before lunch he had met the media and proceeded after that to his main mission – a critical meeting with the Singapore Airlines (SIA) chief executive. By midnight Leahy was on a plane back to Europe, mission accomplished. He successfully reassured SIA over delays in the delivery of the A380 (the airline was the aircraft’s launch customer) and even convinced it to add another nine to the 10 superjumbos already on order. According to people who were privy to the negotiations, Leahy…

  • A QATAR AIRWAYS BOEING 777-200LR. PIC/SHUKOR YUSOF
    Aviation

    There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s Qatar Investment Authority.

    At HKD5,162,266,000 (USD662 million) or HKD12.35 per share, Qatar Airways felt the 378,188,000 shares of Cathay Pacific Airways it bought from Hong Kong-listed Kingboard Chemical Holdings were value for money. Indeed they were, and the Qataris now own a 9.6% stake in one of Asia’s (if not the world’s) top carriers – for a song. The Qataris are astute and smart investors, a lot smarter than their Gulf brethren at Etihad who, as part of ex-CEO James Hogan’s ill-thought “equity investment strategy”, bought into now bankrupt Air Berlin and perennially loss-making Alitalia. Etihad also made other foolish equity investments in Air Serbia, Jet Airways and Air Seychelles. What’s behind Qatar’s…