Robin Hayes To Lead Airbus in North America

Robin Hayes, the former CEO of JetBlue Airways, has been appointed to take over from C. Jeffrey Knittel as Chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas Inc. Airbus SE has disclosed that C. Jeffrey Knittel will retire from his roles as Chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas Inc. effective June 3, 2024, after holding the top executive position in the region since 2018. Knittel will stay with Airbus during a transition phase.

With 35 years of experience in global aerospace leadership, Hayes joins Airbus following his successful tenures at British Airways over a 19-year period and JetBlue, where he served as CEO for nine years. From 2020 to 2022, he chaired the IATA’s Board of Governors, leading efforts to steer the association towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Hayes will be reporting to Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

Under Knittel’s leadership, Airbus significantly increased its presence in the Americas and enlarged its industrial and manufacturing capabilities, resulting in a doubling of commercial aircraft deliveries in the region. With 40 years of experience in aviation finance, leasing, and manufacturing, Knittel brought valuable expertise to Airbus, having previously held the positions of President at CIT Aerospace and CIT Transportation Finance.


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