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Tributes as former Etihad Airways CEO passes away

Robert W. Strodel's recent death described as "sudden and untimely".
Robert W. Strodel
Robert W. Strodel

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Leading figures from the Middle East aviation industry have paid tribute to former Etihad Airways CEO Robert W. Strodel, who passed away on 18th August 2011. 

The industry veteran was celebrated for a 30-year career with Lufthansa German Airlines and was responsible for founding Lufthansa Cargo India in 1996. He joined Etihad Airways as head of cargo in April 2004 and was promoted to chief executive officer in July 2005.

Following a year in the position, he resigned in May 2006 and was replaced by the national carrier’s current CEO James Hogan.

Strodel later worked with the likes of India’s Flyington Freighters and Russia’s Air Bridge Cargo (ABC).

“It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of former Etihad executive Robert Strodel, who passed away suddenly on Thursday 18th August 2011,” a spokesperson for the Abu Dhabi-based airline told LogisticsMiddleEast.com. “His contribution to our business in its start-up phase will be remembered by those who worked alongside him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Robert’s family.”

Former colleague Ingo Roessler, who worked with Strodel for three years as Etihad’s head of cargo, praised his former manager’s sense of humour.

“Robert was a great strategist and hands-on manager with a 'can-do' attitude,” he said. “I experienced his professionalism and business acumen during the challenging times of building up Etihad Crystal Cargo from scratch. His sense of humour made it fun to work with him and he was true in keeping his promises to partners and staff. This is a personal loss to me and also to the community.”

Saleh Al Aroud, chairman of Sharjah-based Rus Aviation, described Strodel as a “nice, generous and frank man”.

“Our respected friend and colleague Robert Strodel was gifted with a great heart and good sense of humour. It is very hard and unbelievable for me to realise this sudden and untimely loss of a dear friend and pleasant person with whom I had the honour to work alongside for the past years,” commented Al Aroud.

“Being a qualified expert in the aviation business, Robert has made an inestimable contribution to the development and progress of our activities. His death is a great and irretrievable loss for all who knew him. This good man will be always remembered by his friends and colleagues and remain in our hearts for all times,” he added.

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