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Sadiq Gillani

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Sadiq Gillani
Airline Strategy Award 2013.jpg Airline Strategy Award 2013.jpg
Gillani with the Airline Strategy Award 2013
BornLondon, England
🏳️ Nationality
🏳️ CitizenshipBritish
🎓 Alma materCambridge University (B.A)
Harvard Business School (M.B.A)
💼 Occupation
Airline executive
👔 EmployerLufthansa
🌐 Websitesadiqgillani.com

Sadiq Gillani is a Senior Vice-President at Lufthansa Group,[1] and a lecturer in management at Stanford Graduate School of Business


Since 2011, Sadiq has been a senior vice-president of Lufthansa the largest airline in Europe. He started as chief strategy and innovation officer, responsible for corporate strategy, portfolio, business development and innovation. He is currently senior vice-president of network and fleet at Eurowings, the low-cost subsidiary of Lufthansa

He was previously a partner with Seabury Group, an aviation consultancy and was based in New York and Sydney. He served as the chief commercial officer of WebJet Linhas Aéreas, a startup Brazilian low-cost carrier, based in Rio de Janeiro. He also supported with the launch of two US startup carriers, namely Eos and Skybus, which ceased operations in 2008.[2][3] He started his career at Bain & Company, the strategy consultancy, in London and Johannesburg.

He is on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Travel, on the board of directors of SunExpress airline, chairman of Lufthansa Consulting and Lufthansa Innovation Hub GmbH .[4]


He completed his MBA at Harvard Business School and holds a BA and MPhil in management studies from Cambridge University. He is also a lecturer in management at Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaching the elective MBA class 'the Travel & Airline Industry'[5]


In 2013, he accepted the Airline Business Airline Strategy Award at London's Lincoln Inn Fields[6]

In 2015, he was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader[7]

In 2015, he was recognised by the Financial Times as one of the top 100 Ethnic Minority Business Leaders in 2015, in position 79.[8]

In 2016, he was selected by Capital (German magazine) as one of Germany's Top 40 under 40 Young Elite Managers[9]

Media coverage[edit]

In April 2010, he was quoted in The Guardian newspaper, saying that the merger of United and Continental would lead to reduced capacity and address over-supply in the US airline industry.[10]

In May 2012, Swiss business magazine Bilanz described him as a Fremdkörper ("foreign body") to Lufthansa employers[11]

In December 2012, German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche commented that he was part of a small group of trusted advisors to the CEO of Lufthansa.[12]

In May 2013, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that: "For many leadership positions in the Group under the Board, CEO Franz has in the past two years brought in many specialists from outside, on whose loyalty he can count on. This includes the new Chief Strategist Sadiq Gillani, a Briton, in the rather cumbersome and, above all, highly German business, swirling around with ideas that the traditionalists must consider as an affront. Gillani was a management consultant prior." [13]

In April 2014, German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: "People that know Spohr well believe that there will be no major personnel changes, with one exception: hardly anyone expects that Strategy Chief Sadiq Gillani will stay. Franz had appointed Gillani in order to shake things up – and Gillani had done this intensively, more than most people liked, Spohr included."

In July 2014, German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote: "The question of whom Spohr will gather around him in top positions in future is closely monitored internally – and the new CEO knows this. That's why there is one thing he does not do: the thing that everyone expects from him. His Chief Strategy Officer Sadiq Gillani may continue to develop new concepts. HR Director Bettina Volkens took over responsibility for Passage HR and must now deliver even more, instead of being already dismissed. On the other hand, many of Spohr's buddies are still waiting for their next career step." [14]

In September 2014, he spoke at the TED (Conference) Berlin, delivering the first ever TED Talk on the airline industry, which has been viewed by over 100,000 people. The Next Step for Airlines on YouTube [15]

In May 2015, he delivered a podcast for the World Economic Forum on innovation in the travel industry to launch the 2015 Travel & Tourism Global Competitiveness Report.[16]

In May 2015, USA Today reported,"Expect major European carriers to switch to the US model of charging to check a bag within two years and charging for seat assignments in the next three years, said Lufthansa Group Chief Strategy Officer Sadiq Gillani. We're a bit behind.[17]

In Sep 2015, CCTV News interviewed him on the potential for the commercial Drone industry, at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. [18]


  1. "Bloomberg". Bloomberg. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/2789077/Eos-Airlines-files-for-bankruptcy.html
  3. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/04/04/airlines.bankruptcy/index.html?iref=newssearch
  4. "Financial Times Top 100". F.T. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  5. "Stanford Website". Stanford. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  6. "Airline Strategy Awards". Airline Business. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  7. "Young Global Leaders 2015". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  8. "Financial Times Top 100". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  9. "Capital Top 40 unter 40". Capital. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  10. "United Continental Merger". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  11. "Schubumkehr". Bilanz. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  12. "Lufthansa-der-junge-aus-dem-ruhrpott". Wirtschaftwoche. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  13. "Team Building". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 6 May 2012.
  14. "Sparen, nur wie". SD. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  15. "The Next Step for Airlines". TED. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  16. "Podcast Innovation in Travel". WEF. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
  17. "Airline Fees". USA Today. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  18. "The Dawn of the Drone Economy". CCTV. Retrieved 16 September 2015.

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