Jaan Albrecht accepts position as CEO of SunExpress

SunExpress Boeing 737-800
Tis Meyer/

Jaan Albrecht, who has been the CEO of Austrian Airlines since November 2011, has accepted a position at SunExpress, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, and will serve as its CEO starting June 1, 2015.

This was decided at the Supervisory Board meeting of SunExpress. Albrecht (60) will remain CEO of Austrian Airlines until the end of May 2015. The Supervisory Board will make a decision on Albrecht’s successor at a later date.

“The decision to ask Jaan Albrecht to assume a new position within the Lufthansa Group was not easy for us“, says Harry Hohmeister, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines. “After all, he led Austrian Airlines out of a crisis and achieved a turnaround. However, his good international contacts and his experience in different positions in the airline sector make him an ideal CEO of SunExpress.”

Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Austrian Airlines adds: “I will say it straight out. It is with a heavy heart that I will be leaving Vienna and Austrian Airlines at the end of May. But I am leaving with a good feeling about the situation because Austrian Airlines is well on track. At the same time, I am also happy to be able to contribute my experience once again to such an important international joint venture.”

Paul Schwaiger (60), the current Managing Director of SunExpress, will leave the company due to the expiration of his contract. In order to ensure a smooth handover and a seamless transition, Paul Schwaiger will actively shape the change in the airline’s management and continue to support Jaan Albrecht until the middle of July 2015.

Austrian Airlines and Tyrolean to merge – Klaus Froese appointed COO

There will also be another personnel change at Austrian Airlines as a result of tomorrow’s fusion of Austrian Airlines and Tyrolean Airways. Klaus Froese will serve as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) in the Extended Executive Board of Austrian Airlines and assume responsibility for the operation. This Extended Executive Board will now consist of Jaan Albrecht (CEO until May 31, 2015), Andreas Otto (CCO), Heinz Lachinger (CFO) and Klaus Froese (COO).

As previously reported, following a consensus reached on a new collective wage agreement for the flight crew, some 3,000 flight attendants and pilots will transfer from Tyrolean to Austrian Airlines effective April 1, 2015. Accordingly, the entire flight operations will be integrated into Austrian Airlines, and the add-on “operated by Tyrolean” will no longer be used as of this date. Moreover, all station employees in the federal provinces and all employees in the flight operations administration will also switch over to Austrian Airlines.

About Jaan Albrecht:

Jaan Albrecht (60) has been Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board of Austrian Airlines since 2011. Previously he was CEO of Star Alliance for a period of ten years. Jaan Albrecht began his professional career as a pilot for the Mexican airline Mexicana, where he was first officer, captain and pilot of the Boeing 727 fleet for 20 years before he moved into management in 1990 and served in various senior operating and commercial management positions. Jaan Albrecht is a Mexican and German citizen and speaks Spanish, English and German fluently.

About Klaus Froese:

Klaus Froese (52) started his career in aviation in 1987 as the first officer with Deutsche Luftverkehrsgesellschaft mbH, DLT, the predecessor of Lufthansa CityLine. In 1989 he started working as a pilot for the Lufthansa Group before being appointed to the position as Head of the Group Safety Pilot and Quality Management Operations department of Lufthansa. In 2006 the Bonn-born manager was named Managing Director of Lufthansa CityLine GmbH.

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