Etihad Airways has confirmed that president and chief executive James Hogan is to stand down later this year.

He is to join an investment company along with Etihad Aviation Group chief financial officer James Rigney, who will also leave the carrier later in 2017.

A global search for a new group chief executive and chief financial officer is already underway, the UAE carrier said.

Hogan, a former chief operating officer of the former UK carrier BMI, is to leave in the second half of 2017 after more than ten years in charge.

Etihad Aviation Group chairman, Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, said: “We are very grateful to James. In just ten years, he has overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional carrier into a 120 aircraft global airline and aviation group, with seven airline equity partnerships which together serve more than 120 million guests every year.

“It is a business which has set new benchmarks for service and innovation.

“Under his leadership, the company has provided new opportunities for thousands of Emiratis and has been a critical element in the remarkable progress of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

“We look forward to James’ continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways.”

Mazrouei added: “To position the company for continued success in a challenging market, the board and management team will continue an ongoing, company-wide strategic review.

“We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape. We must continue to improve cost efficiency, productivity and revenue. We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships even as we remain committed to the strategy.”

Hogan said: “Along with the board and my 26,000 colleagues, I am very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and to the development of Abu Dhabi.

“The last decade has seen incredible results but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad.”

Etihad Airways unveiled plans last month to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with Tui.

A new codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and an aircraft leasing agreement between Air Berlin and Lufthansa were also announced.

Etihad is also “actively participating” in the next phase of Alitalia’s restructuring plan as a minority shareholder.

Mazrouei said: “Etihad is a great business with strong fundamentals and a deeply experienced aviation and airline management team.

“These assets, along with a realigned organisation, provide more agility and added focus as Etihad enters the next phase of its development.”