Austrian Airlines streamlines organization
• Top management strengthened to handle forthcoming integration responsibilities
• Former Swiss executive board member Gaudenz Ambühl will head new flight operations
• Further decisions on personnel in senior management resolved upon
The executive board of Austrian Airlines set the course today of its future organization. The overall objective of the organizational and personnel measures resolved upon is to employ the restructuring efforts to bundle a joint and single set of flight operations at Tyrolean Airways. In a further move, the Ground Operations (station management) and Hub Management (production control and quality management) operating areas were joined together.
Gaudenz Ambühl (61) will assume the position of Managing Director of Tyrolean Airways effective 1 June 2012. The entire flight operations will be bundled in Tyrolean Airways as of 1 July 2012. The entire Austrian Airlines Group fleet of about 80 aircraft will be located at Tyrolean Airways. Gaudenz Ambühl follows Christian Fitz in this position, who has decided to resign from his Management function at Tyrolean Airways. Until May 2010, Ambühl was Chief Operations Officer at SWISS International Airlines. Prior to that, he held a variety of management positions. These involved heading fleet management and cockpit personnel. Ambühl holds a degree in engineering from the ETH Zurich. He has years of serving as an airline pilot and instructor. His last position in this area was as Captain of the Airbus A330.
Austrian CEO Jaan Albrecht: “I am pleased that Gaudenz Ambühl joins Austrian Airlines. He is a manager who has years of experience and expertise in managing flight operations and integration. He will support our integration work until the point of finalization“.
Moreover, Rolf Brand (45) was hired to serve as the Director of Flight Operations at Tyrolean Airways as of 1 July 2012. Harald Lazar, who will continue to serve in this position until 30 June 2012, will head the existing regional fleet of Tyrolean Airways and will take over additional management functions. Following the found of SWISS, Brand worked as the deputy head of the entire cockpit personnel. Previously, he was in the MD-80 fleet management at Crossair. The Swiss-born manager has been an airline pilot since 1993, and is today Captain AVRO RJ100. Since 2005 he has been the Post Holder Flight Operations at Swiss European Air Lines. In his new position he will report to Gaudenz Ambühl. Fritz Strahammer, pilot and Director of Flight Operations at Austrian Airlines, will resign his management position within the framework of the transfer of flight operations.
The challenges facing our company will also be handled by a new Head of Human Resources. The diverse responsibilities during the months to come will include the configuration of a joint collective agreement and the establishment of a new leadership culture in the Austrian Airlines Group. Michael Ruplitsch, the current Vice President Corporate Project & IT Services, is to be the new Vice President of Human Resources & Organization. He is thus the successor to Richard Piller, who is leaving the company in best mutual agreement. Andreas Zerlauth, currently Deputy Vice President of Human Resources & Organization will become the Vice President for the IT & Project Management area.
The development of the systemic partnership between Vienna Airport and Austrian Airlines is a central component of the restructuring concept. The Ground Operations and Hub Management divisions were joined to facilitate the bundling of all interfaces between the Airport and Austrian Airlines. Markus Christl, the current Head of Hub Management, is to be the Vice President of Ground Operations & Hub Management. The Head of Ground Operations, Thomas Suritsch, will leave the company at his own wish and in best mutual agreement.
Austrian Airlines is Austria’s largest carrier and operates a global route network of round 130 destinations. That route network is particularly dense in Central and Eastern Europe: with 44 destinations, Austrian Airlines operates the densest route network into this region served by a single airport. Thanks to its favourable geographical location at the heart of Europe, the company’s hub at Vienna International Airport is the ideal gateway between East and West. Austrian Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group, Europe’s largest airline group, and a member of the Star Alliance, the first global alliance of international airlines.
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