The Distinguished Aviation Alumni Award: Celebrating the long-term achievements of outstanding alumni in the aviation industry.

The Distinguished Aviation Alumni Award is one of Cranfield University’s highest honours. It recognises those individuals who have achieved significant success within the aviation industry/sector, while upholding the highest standards in industry practice.

Alumni who have won this award will:

  • Have sustained professional achievement at the highest levels: professional achievement may be viewed in terms of:
    • Technology/engineering/commercial leadership.
    • Achieving transformational change in an organisation.
    • Significant and successful project management.
    • Contribution to company profitability and job creation.
    • Significant impact on their industry and sector, beyond their own role and organisation.
  • Have international visibility: influence/experience working across different geographic regions.
  • Be regarded as a role model for leadership.
  • Demonstrated innovation and creativity.
  • Be committed to sustainability: reducing the negative impact of aerospace on environment.
  • Achieved other awards and recognitions.
  • Have a previous relationship with Cranfield or be committed to supporting Cranfield in the future.

Meet the 2020 Distinguished Aviation Alumni Award Winner

Adel Al Redha (MSc Air Transport Management 1997)

Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Airline

Adel Al RedhaAdel Al Redha is at the helm of Emirates’ operations, both in Dubai and across the airline’s vast network of nearly 160 destinations in 85 countries. He has been in his current leadership role since 2013.

He leads teams that play an integral role in supporting Emirates flights and serving customers across the globe. Adel oversees flight operations; engineering; airport services; service delivery - including catering operations, inflight entertainment, and cabin crew; the Emirates Flight Training Academy; aircraft procurement; as well as worldwide network operations including crisis response.

Adel champions the integration of technology in all operational aspects, which has led to enhanced safety, improved efficiencies across the business, and a better customer experience. He has been instrumental in introducing initiatives and processes that enhance Emirates’ product offering onboard and on the ground. 

Adel had also initiated the introduction of National Development programmes that provide career paths for UAE national youth in aviation, and he continues to drive improvements in the working environment for all staff while keeping safety and standards at the core of all operations.

Future Travel Experience’s Airline Passenger Experience Power List ranked Adel as one of the top 5 global airline executives for his leadership in directing the airline’s consistent delivery of superior services on the ground and in the air.

In a career that started in 1988 at Emirates and now span over 30 years, he has held several senior management roles, including the procurement of aircraft and services.

Adel completed his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology/Aircraft Maintenance from the University of Northrop, USA. He holds a Master’s in Air Transport from Cranfield University, UK, and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.