One of Britain’s most successful aircraft chefs is facing a fine of up to £ 10,000 for failing to declare visiting a ‘red list’ country, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Millionaire James Hogan, the former CEO of Etihad Airways, was reportedly detained by Border Force officers at Heathrow last month after arriving on a flight from Switzerland.
Sources say the business director did not reveal that he had been to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, one of 40 countries on the government’s so-called ‘red list’ just two days earlier.
Anyone coming from ‘red list’ countries must check in at a government-approved quarantine hotel for ten days.
Sources claim Mr Hogan was arrested on March 19 after a whistleblower who heard about his travel plans tipped off a British embassy.
It is believed he was immediately escorted to a quarantine hotel, where he isolated himself for the mandatory ten days, but could now face a ‘heavy fine’.
James Hogan is said to have been held at Heathrow last month after arriving on a flight from Switzerland
Mr. Hogan, who holds joint British and Australian citizenships and was named an Officer of the Order of Australia on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List in 2017, transformed Etihad into one of the world’s top airlines during his 11-year tenure as CEO.
In 2011, he signed a ten-year sponsorship deal with Manchester City, which included the naming of the football club’s stadium.
The news that he was caught breaking Covid’s travel rules is said to have shocked the bosses of top airlines and is the talk of the airline industry.
A source said: ‘It’s outrageous. Many people are shocked and angry that these types of individuals who really should know better are breaking the rules. ‘
The UAE has been on the ‘red list’ since January 29 for fears that, as a major international travel hub, it could export Covid cases to Britain.
There were 137 new infections per 100,000 people in the UAE last week, compared to 23 per 100,000 in the UK.
As of 15 February, those traveling to the UK who have visited a ‘red list’ country in the past ten days have been forced to isolate themselves in a hotel for ten days at a cost of £ 1,750.
Sources of knowledge of Mr. Hogan claim he flew with his Australian passport from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, on an Etihad flight to Switzerland on March 17.
A coach delivers passengers to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel near London Heathrow Airport in February, where they had to stay for a ten-day quarantine period after returning to England from one of the ‘red list’ countries.
Knighthood Capital, a business consultancy he founded after leaving Etihad in 2017, has offices in both Abu Dhabi and Geneva.
He stayed in Switzerland for two days before flying home on a British Airways flight on March 19.
Obviously he used his UK passport for that part of the trip.
However, he is not believed to have stated that he had been in the UAE on the mandatory ‘passenger locator form’ that all people traveling to the UK must submit at least 48 hours prior to arrival.
A source said: “He appears to have flew into the UAE with his Australian passport and on his return trip, via Switzerland, the Australian passport was switched back to a British passport.”
Unbeknownst to him, however, his movements were tracked and he was intercepted by Border Force officers when he arrived at Heathrow.
The MoS has understood that a whistleblower in the UAE or Switzerland contacted a British embassy after hearing Mr Hogan brag about his travel arrangements.
State Department officials reportedly passed the intelligence on to the Border Force, which launched an investigation.
Officials are said to be investigating whether Mr Hogan also violated quarantine regulations after a trip to the UAE in February.
Passengers walk through Terminal 2 of London Heathrow Airport in February as international travel restrictions persist
Sources say he flew an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Geneva on Feb. 17 before catching a BA flight to Heathrow less than ten days later.
Mr. Hogan began his aviation career at the check-in desk of the now-defunct Ansett airline at Melbourne Airport in Australia.
In 2013 he said, “The great thing about starting there is that I’ve done everything – except flying the plane – operations, cargo, crew.”
He later had two stints as an executive at British Midland and helped rename the airline BMI.
The father of three led Etihad’s spectacular growth between 2006 and 2017. In 2008, he signed one of the largest ever aircraft orders for 205 aircraft worth $ 43 billion, and that year was published by a Middle East business magazine.
Mr. Hogan declined to respond to repeated requests for comment this weekend. His wife said Friday at their £ 2million house in Windsor: ‘He’s currently in London. I cannot answer your questions. ‘
An Interior Ministry spokesman said: “We are in a global health pandemic. People should not travel unless absolutely necessary and it is unacceptable and illegal to avoid hotel quarantine.
Anyone who tries that could be fined up to £ 10,000.
Border Force monitors every passenger to make sure they comply with border health measures, to protect the British public and the UK’s vaccine rollout from worrying variants.
“Passengers still trying to avoid quarantine may be subject to further police action, including arrest for violating Covid regulations.” ‘