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Hayes selected to lead Airbus in North America

April 25, 2024  By Helicopters Staff

Robin Hayes is set to become Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Americas on June 3, 2024. (Photo: Airbus)

Robin Hayes, former CEO of JetBlue Airways, is set to become Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Americas Inc. on June 3, 2024, after the retirement of Jeffrey Knittel, who has led the operation since 2018. Knittel will remain with Airbus through a transition period.

Hayes brings 35 years of global aerospace leadership to Airbus having served in a series of 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 Chair of the IATA’s Board of Governors, where he championed the association’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Hayes will report to Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

“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. The region has more than 10,000 Airbus employees across 50 sites. Additionally, Airbus notes it spends $15 billion annually with more than 2,000 U.S. suppliers in over 40 states.


“After some time off, I am excited and energized to join Airbus and build on the incredible success in the region,” said Hayes. “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 honour for me to take up this opportunity to be part of the Airbus team.”

During Knittel’s tenure, Airbus states that it has grown its presence in the Americas and expanded its industrial and manufacturing footprint, doubling the region’s commercial aircraft deliveries.

“My time at Airbus has been a privilege and I am immensely proud of what the team has accomplished during our time together. We significantly increased revenues, grew market share and expanded our presence and operational footprint across all three Airbus businesses,” said Knittel. “The future is bright for Airbus in the region, as it is well-positioned to continue on its growth trajectory.”


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