Maurice Flanagan holds a BA from Liverpool University and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport, the British Institute of Management and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
In 1953, he joined BOAC, the forerunner of British Airways, as a graduate trainee, after serving in the Royal Air Force as a navigation officer. He ascended through a variety of posts, both overseas and in the UK, and joined British Airways’ senior management team in 1974.
In 1978, he left to become director and general manager of Dnata, Emirates’ sister company. He became managing director of Emirates in 1985, when the airline began operations and was appointed group managing director of the Emirates Group in 1990. In July 2003, he became vice-chairman and group president and was appointed executive vice-chairman in 2006.
Flanagan was invested with his award as Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2000, in recognition of his contribution to relations between the UAE and the UK and for the part he has played in the development of the Emirates Group and aviation in general.
He has been honoured by Flight International as its Personality of the Year, awarded by Airline Business for his role in developing Emirates into a global carrier, and inducted into the British Travel Industry Hall of Fame.
He received the Official Airline Guide (OAG) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, both for his role in developing Emirates and for more than 50 years of service to aviation. He is only the second recipient ever of this award.