Vijay Poonoosamy commenced his career in Aviation Law in 1985, and by 1988 he was a legal advisor for Air Mauritius. In 1990, Poonoosamy was appointed as a Director for Legal and International Affairs for Air Mauritius a position he kept until being appointed Managing Director in 2000. He left Air Mauritius in 2001 to return to practise as a Barrister and Aviation Consultant until his appointment as the Executive Chairman of Airports of Mauritius Co. Ltd in June 2004. He resigned from this post in August 2005 to join Etihad Airways where he is the Vice President of International Affairs.
Poonoosamy has put in place a successful business model based on a very specific mandate from the United Arab Emirates government – Be safe, be viable, be the best in your class. He believes that customers deserve to fly an airline by choice not by default and Etihad has developed a signature service excellence for Etihad’s guests.
Poonoosamy has enabled Etihad airways to become a product of fresh thinking, new strategies and extraordinary growth; 97 destinations, 86 aircraft, more than 11 million passengers a year, 47 codeshare partners, minority equity investments or approvals to invest in seven other airlines, and 185 interline relationships. The net profit had increased by 200% to US$42 million, with 10.3 million passengers carried.
Poonoosamy is also the Vice Chairman of the ICAO Special Committee on Aviation Security Conventions and a member of the Industry Affairs Committee of IATA. In February 2011, Vijay received the International Intellectuals Award for “The Great Son of the Soil” from the All-India Conference of Intellectuals at the India International Centre in New Delhi.