Industry veteran Elena Sorlini named as Abu Dhabi Airports MD and CEO

By Benedict Evans |

Sorlini is a board member at Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Aviation and ADQ Aviation and Aerospace Services.

Elena Sorlini has been appointed the Managing Director and CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, the operator of Abu Dhabi’s five commercial airports, on a permanent basis, having served in the position in an interim capacity since June last year.

Since joining Abu Dhabi Airports, Sorlini has overseen the successful opening of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal A, and brings more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry.

Before joining Abu Dhabi Airports, Sorlini held various senior management positions, including: Executive Director of Transport & Logistics at ADQ; Vice President of Group Corporate Strategy at Oman Aviation Group; and Strategy Director at Copenhagen Airports.

She has also served as Vice President at Macquarie Airports, one of the largest private airport owners and operators in the world.

“I am honoured to have been officially appointed as the Managing Director and CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports. Following the opening of Terminal A, I remain committed to unlocking the full growth potential of Abu Dhabi’s tourism and trade industry,” said Sorlini following her appointment.

Passenger traffic gains

Sorlini has played an important role in maintaining the steady increase in passenger traffic numbers at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

A report released on 1 November 2023 showed figures of 5,951,025 in passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport between 1 July and 30 September, an increase of 29.3%, compared to the same period last year.

Abu Dhabi Airports Terminal A

Terminal A ranks among the largest airport terminals in the world at 780,000 square metres (8,400,000sq ft), with 35,000sq ft of that dedicated to retail space.

Terminal A has the capacity to host 45 million passengers annually (11,000 at peak hours) and accommodate 79 Airbus A380-type aircraft at any given time, a move which Abu Dhabi Airports says strengthens the aviation sector’s contribution to Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

“I look forward to contributing to the recognition of Abu Dhabi International Airport as one of the best airports in the world, meeting the highest standards of quality for our passengers,” added Sorlini.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Advisor of Special Affairs at the Presidential Court and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “On behalf of the board, we are delighted to welcome Elena Sorlini as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports.

“With her proven track record of success in the aviation sector, we have full confidence in her ability to lead the organisation through its next phase of growth, underscored by our commitment to solidifying Abu Dhabi’s position as a global tourism destination and a leading aviation hub.”

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