airberlin welcomes international top managers on board

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The FINANCIAL — Effective 1 June, 2015, the management team of Germany’s second largest airline will have a new line-up: Julio Rodriguez (40) has been appointed the Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), taking over responsibility for Sales, Revenue Management and E-Commerce – a centrepiece of airberlin’s restructuring. Rodriguez is currently the CCO of the Spanish low-cost airline Vueling.

With a PhD in physics (University of Cologne) and an MBA (IESE Business School, Barcelona), Rodriguez joined the aviation industry in 2006 and was previously a senior consultant at Boston Consulting Group. The native Rhinelander with a Spanish passport takes over from Götz Ahmelmann (44), who is taking over a new role within Etihad Airways, according to airberlin.

Captain Oliver Lackmann (46), previously Accountable Manager, was appointed to the newly created position of Chief Flight Operations Officer (CFOO), and is responsible for flight operations, crew planning and training, as well as Operations Compliance & Safety Management and Aviation Security Management. Lackmann has been with airberlin since 2001, including 10 years as a captain, and currently flies the Airbus A320/A330. In this new position we will remain Accountable Manager.

Marco Ciomperlik (39) was appointed to the newly created position of Chief Production Officer (CPO) and will focus on hospitality, including future product strategy, and operations along the entire service chain. This includes mainly Airport Operations, Cabin Crew, Guest Experience, Maintenance and Network Operations. In addition he is responsible for the subsidiaries Leisure Cargo and airberlin technik. Ciomperlik was previously Chief Restructuring Officer and has been with airberlin since 2010.

The expanded management team will be complemented by Ole Orvér (49), the new Senior Vice President of Network Strategy Planning, who until further notice will report directly to the CEO. Orvér was most recently Senior Vice President Corporate Planning at Qatar Airways, and previously held various management positions at LOT Polish Airlines and the SAS Group. He brings more than 26 years’ experience in the aviation industry.

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“The airberlin management team is now more international and our structure will be clearly aligned along the value chain of an airline, which increases our effectiveness as a multi-hub airline in Europe. I am delighted that we are able to fill key positions with experienced airline managers from the low-cost and the network segment as well as internal resources. We thank Götz Ahmelmann for his achievements for airberlin and we wish him a very successful start in his new role at Etihad Airways” says Stefan Pichler, CEO airberlin.

“A strong sales team with strengthened responsibility in Revenue Management will achieve the tough sales targets needed for the turnaround. In the area of production and service, we will strengthen our core business with a uniform product strategy, and align ourselves better and faster with customer needs.”

For the first time, airberlin is bringing all flight operation functions together in a single, dedicated team.

New on board since 1 April is Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Arnd Schwierholz. The management team also includes Dr Martina Niemann; the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHO) who is in charge of personnel for the 8,300-strong airline.

In early March, Stefan Pichler announced the initial details of the 2015 & 2016 turnaround programme. These latest decisions further advance the first phase. In total, three phases are planned: during the first phase, management structures and processes are assessed for their added value and management quality. Significant improvement potential is expected in the areas of network planning, revenue management and sales; the second phase aims to improve market segmentation and, where necessary, to undertake capacity adjustment. Both phases are due to be completed in spring 2016, and are expected to achieve substantially improved results. The third phase – commencing in April 2016 – should, on an adjusted basis, see the path to profitability paved and airberlin’s hubs further expanded.

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