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In December 2011, shortly before he stepped down as chief executive of Oman Air, I asked Peter Hill if he was hanging up his coat for the last time in the aviation business.
“I think so,” sighed the industry veteran, who started his career at British Overseas Airways Corporation before spearheading the Gulf aviation boom as a founding member of Dubai’s Emirates Airline, and latterly steering the flag-carriers of Sri Lanka and Oman. “Fifty years in the business is long enough for anybody.”
So he thought at the time.
Within six months of retiring, Hill began receiving phone calls about “small projects” here and there in the travel industry. His willingness to take the commissions soon caught the attention of friend and former colleague Tim Clark, the president of Emirates...