9 JANUARY 2017


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Article from BTNews 9 JANUARY 2017

Long-haul focus for airberlin

Plans to develop airberlin as a long-haul carrier out of its home base in the German capital and from Dusseldorf with an initial fleet of 75 aircraft are being accelerated following the appointment of Thomas Winkelmann (57) as group CEO.

Winkelmann, 57, takes over on 1 February. He succeeds Stefan Pichler, who the company said had decided to leave after working for two years on the group’s strategic turnaround.

Under Pichler, airberlin entered into a wet-lease agreement with the Lufthansa Group for 38 aircraft and sold its short- and medium-haul business to Etihad Aviation Group to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG. 

Airberlin said Winkelmann will continue the implementation of the long-haul strategy “to ensure a sustainable and profitable future” for the carrier.

Winkelmann has more than 18 years’ experience in the airline industry, beginning his career in 1998 with Lufthansa Group with responsibility for the sales organisation in South America and the Caribbean.

He subsequently took over the sales and service organisation as vice-president for North and South America and was later appointed CEO of the Lufthansa low-cost subsidiary Germanwings and then of the Lufthansa Hub in Munich.


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