The Aviation Icon… John Leahy

الاحد - 15 ديسمبر 2019

Sun - 15 Dec 2019

He is also called Mr. Airbus, I can claim that John Leahy is the one who enabled most Earth’s inhabitants to travel by plane. That American, who was born in New York in 1950, left U.S.A. in 1985 to compete it from Europe by joining a small company, called Airbus, a company was at that time just a seed of mustard in front of American giant corporates Boeing, MacDonnell Douglas, and Lockheed Martin.

He is a salesman who would never be repeated again in the aviation business. At the beginnings, he was able to sell the “European” Airbus aircrafts in the United States for North West Airlines (NWA) and Continental Airlines, deals that fired the halls of the American Congress. In 2010 precisely, John Leahy proved that this tiny seed of mustard was, in reality, a snowball. Airbus has surpassed all aviation empires in the world, making 52% of aviation market share. John was able to sell 9000 out of 10000 Airbus aircrafts. A man who removed engineers from sales administrations, a shrewd who doesn’t go to any meeting or discussing a deal until he knows all details, not only about the organization he will deal with, but even about those people who will attend the meeting.

He leaves the French city, Toulouse, where the Airbus corporation headquarter is located, for a 3-day trip, to reach Singapore then to Sydney, Australia, then Dubai and finally get back to Toulouse, and you find him in all his elegance and vigor in his office the next day.

Tom Enders, the Chief Executive of Airbus, said: “John worked with 7 chief executives, he doesn’t care who heads the company, which is an evidence of loyalty and professionalism, he never gives up trying in winning deals”.

He is a comic and a funny guy when he starts his annual conference by salutation saying: “Hi everyone and a special warm welcome for my friends in Seattle who are still awake until late at night” ... and he ends up by raising a stink: “happy new year Kevin or anybody else that I’m sure is watching this conference live”.. where he means the employees of Boeing in its headquarter in Seattle.

John Leahy wore the hat of clients in his company, which is the role that should be played by any sales officer to make a real partnership with clients. For this, John could exert pressure on manufacturing officers in Airbus and engines corporates to raise the level of operating efficiency in aircrafts, so the airlines can operate their fleets of planes with less operating costs that can be reflected in the prices of tickets, then flying becomes accessible for all.

John Leahy left his position after earning $ 1.7 trillion for Airbus and selling more than 16,000 planes, that is 90% of all Airbus’s sales, concluding his unique career with the historical deal with IndiGo with 430 aircrafts.

  • John Leahy was born in New York City 1950.

  • He holds an MBA, Syracuse University.

  • He joined Airbus in 1985.

  • He made $ 1.7 trillion for Airbus.

  • He sold more than 16,000 aircrafts.

  • He was retired in early 2018.

An article by Engr. Abdullah M. AlShahrani

Translated by Khalid Alshehri

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