NEW YORK, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wings Club Foundation, Inc., announces it will honor John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers of Airbus, with the 2015 Distinguished Achievement Award. Acknowledging outstanding accomplishments in the field of aviation, The Wings Club Foundation will present this award on October 23, 2015, at the 73rd Annual Awards Gala to be held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
John Leahy has served Airbus since August 1994 as the Chief Commercial Officer, and in September 2012, was appointed as a member to the Airbus Group Executive Committee. He is responsible for all commercial activities including sales, marketing, contracts, business transaction control, asset management, leasing and business development.
Under Leahy's commercial leadership, Airbus' market share rose from 18% in 1995 to 50% or more by the turn of the century - a level where it has been maintained over the last 14 years. He has led numerous successful commercial activities including the launch of Airbus' next generation flagship aircraft which set the standards for large aircraft in the 21st century, namely the A380 and the A350 XWB. Leahy also played a significant role in the launch of the A320neo (New Engine Option) family, which is the fastest selling aircraft program in aviation history.
After spending seven years in marketing at Piper Aircraft, Leahy joined Airbus North America in January 1985. He became the Head of Sales in 1988 and, later, President of Airbus North America. Leahy was in charge of the penetration of the strategic North American Market, where most major airlines are now Airbus customers.
Leahy is a licensed multi-engine commercial pilot and a former flight instructor with more than 3,700 hours of flying time. He received one of France's top civilian awards in March 2012, by being named an Officer of the Legion d'Honneur, for his services to European and French aviation.
The Wings Club's Distinguished Achievement Award has been presented annually since 1975. Past recipients include Neil Armstrong, Senator John Glenn, President George H. W. Bush, Brigadier General Charles E. Yeager, Frederick Smith, Steven Udvar-Hazy, T. Allan McArtor, and Jim Albaugh, as well as 13 present and former airline CEO's including, Robert Crandall, Herbert Kelleher, Gordon Bethune, Sir Colin Marshall, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Sir Richard Branson and Dave Barger.
The Wings Club was founded in 1942 and is now the premiere global aviation foundation. Its primary purpose is to encourage and support education in aviation and aerospace. The Foundation also supports charitable organizations that use aircraft to deliver humanitarian aid and outreach. The Wings Club is dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of aviation and affords a forum for educational speeches, discussion and debate on topical aviation issues.
Recognizing significant achievements that contribute to the advancement of the aeronautical and aviation matters, The Wings Club Foundation presents not only the Distinguished Achievement Award, but also the Outstanding Aviator Award and the Distinguished Scholar Awards. For more information please call (212) 867-1770, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.wingsclub.org.
SOURCE The Wings Club Foundation, Inc.