Swiss has appointed Dieter Vranckx as CEO of the airline from January 1, 2021, succeeding outgoing boss Thomas Klühr, the subsidiary of the German group Lufthansa announced on Wednesday.
Mr. Vranckx, who has headed Belgian airline Brussel Airlines since the start of the year, has held various managerial positions in the air transport sector since 1998, notably with Lufthansa, Swissair and Swiss, the national carrier said in a statement.
For the past two years, he has been responsible from Singapore for the commercial and marketing activities of the Lufthansa Group airlines (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings) for the Asia-Pacific region.
The future CEO of Swiss, a 47-year-old Swiss and Belgian national double, is married and has two children.
“Held in high esteem by the global aviation industry, he is a convincing figure with extensive international experience,” said Swiss President Reto Francioni. According to the latter, Mr. Vranckx “knows Swiss and the Lufthansa group perfectly well from his previous functions”.
In addition to the new appointment, Swiss general management still consists of CFO Markus Binkert, Sales Director Tamur Goudarzi-Pour and COO Thomas Frick.
2020 in the red
Swiss, like the global airline industry as a whole, is in a difficult situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Swiss carrier increased its losses over the first nine months of the year and expects to end the year in the red.
In the face of the economic crisis and travel restrictions, the number of passengers carried collapsed by 69.8% to 4.3 million travelers between January and the end of September. The national carrier suffered a fall in turnover of 61.8% to 1.54 billion francs.
The operating loss, which already reached 266.4 million francs in the first half of the year, widened to 414.7 million over the first nine months of the year. By way of comparison, Swiss had generated an operating profit of 489.6 million over the same period last year.
At the beginning of November, Mr. Klühr estimated that it was “unlikely that the aviation sector will recover from the pandemic as long as it is not contained and as long as entry bans and quarantine measures in their current form will not be lifted “.