Industry pays tribute to cargo veteran

ROBERT Strodel (right), executive adviser at Rus Aviation and former chief executive officer (CEO) of Etihad, has died unexpectedly only days before his 56th birthday. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack.

Saleh Al Aroud, chairman of Rus Aviation, said: “Robert was our respected friend and colleague, whom we all knew as a nice, generous and frank man, gifted with a great heart and good sense of humour.”

The Austrian worked at Lufthansa for 33 years, founding Lufthansa Cargo India in 1996 before leaving to become a consultant. He then headed Etihad’s cargo operations in 2004 and was made CEO in 2005. He then left to co-found Liwa Air in Dubai (UAE) and subsequently joined Rus Aviation.

James Hogan, Etihad’s current CEO, said: “Robert’s 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.”

Ingo Roessler, who worked at Etihad with Strodel, said: “Robert was a great strategist and hands-on manager with a ‘can-do’ attitude. I experienced his professionalism and business acumen during the challenging times of building up Etihad Crystal Cargo from scratch.”

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