Brussels Airlines appoints Dieter Vranckx as new CEO


As largely anticipated since many days, Dieter Vranckx will become the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brussels Airlines as of January 1st 2020. He will also become the new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of the Belgian airline.

In his role as new CEO, Dieter Vranckx (46) will report to the SN Airholding Board of Directors. He will also hold the position of Chief Commercial Officer at Brussels Airlines. He herewith takes over the responsibilities of Christina Foerster, who joined Brussels Airlines in 2016 as CCO and has been leading the airline since April 2018. As of 1 January 2020, Mrs. Foerster will join the Lufthansa Group Executive Board, heading the “Customer & Corporate Responsibility” of the Group.

Since May 2018, Dieter Vranckx was Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO of Brussels Airlines.

Dieter Vranckx, Brussels Airlines’ new CEO and CCO as of 1 January 2020. Photo: © Brussels Airlines

After completing his Commercial Engineering studies in Brussels, Dieter Vranckx obtained a Master of Business Administration at the Solvay Business School. In 2007 and 2016, he pursued Advanced Management Programs at the London Business School and the IMD business school in Lausanne.

In 1998, Vranckx held the position of Operations Manager at Sabena, before joining Swissair in Zurich in 2000 as Senior Manager Network Planning Europe.
At the end of 2001, he was part of the network planning team setting up the newly created SN Brussels Airlines network. Between 2001 and 2016, he headed several departments within the Lufthansa Group.

In this way, based in Hong-Kong, Dieter Vranckx led between 2003 and 2006 the Asia Pacific markets for Swiss International Airlines. After 2006, he acted as Vice President Asia & Africa for Swiss WorldCargo. From 2010 until 2013, he was Regional Director USA Midwest and Canada at Lufthansa Cargo and between 2013 and 2016 Vice President Home Markets at Swiss International Air Lines.

From 2016 till 2018, Vranckx was leading the Lufthansa Group Sales in Asia Pacific, based in Singapore.

Etienne Davignon, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of SN Airholding, says: “Dieter Vranckx is well-known to the aviation industry. Since more than one year he is successfully fulfilling his role as Chief Financial Officer of Brussels Airlines. He is also heading the company’s turnaround plan REBOOT aiming at reaching structural profitability as of 2022. As real aviation expert and all-round manager who is very familiar with the Lufthansa Group, he is the right person to bring Brussels Airlines to the next level, together with his teams.”

“At the same time, I wish to thank Christina Foerster for her exemplary commitment the last three years, bringing Brussels Airlines not only even closer to the Lufthansa Group, but increasing the company’s competitiveness by setting the right priorities and establishing a strong managerial structure. Together with my colleague Jan Smets, I wish Mrs. Foerster the very best with her new responsibilities. I am sure that her in-depth knowledge of Brussels Airlines within the Lufthansa Group Executive Board will further promote the synergies between the two companies.”

Thorsten Dirks, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of SN Airholding and CEO of Eurowings, says: “With her excellent people management skills and her perseverance in bringing departments closer together in order to achieve even greater goals, Christina Foerster succeeded in putting Brussels Airlines on the map – not only in terms of the company’s Africa expertise, by establishing the Lufthansa Groups Sub-Saharan Africa Competence Centre in Brussels, but also by further developing the airline’s customer centricity and its capability of addressing the future with the right mindset.”

“With his long and extensive background in the aviation industry as well as with his excellent analytical and commercial skills, I am convinced that Dieter Vranckx will succeed in further bringing Brussels Airlines to new heights. I wish both a lot of success in their respective new functions.”

The new CFO of Brussels Airlines will be designated in due time.

Other appointments within the Lufthansa Group

  • Jens Bischof will become CEO of Eurowings
  • Patrick Staudacher, Boston Consulting Group, will join Lufthansa Group and take over the reoriented position of Lufthansa Airline CFO

The Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG has appointed new CEOs for Eurowings and Brussels Airlines. Jens Bischof will take over as chairman of Eurowings on 1 March 2020. As of 1 January 2020, Dieter Vranckx will be CEO of Brussels Airlines, as mentioned above.

Jens Bischof, currently CEO of SunExpress, is taking over the leadership of Germany’s second-largest airline and the third-largest point-to-point airline in Europe. Eurowings will welcome more than 38 million passengers on board this year. The airline currently employs 8,000 people and has an annual sales volume of more than four billion euros. The airline is expected to return to profitability in 2021.

Jens Bischof (54) began his career with the group in 1990, holding several leadership positions during this time. He managed the passenger business of Lufthansa in North and South America and was responsible for the global sales organization as Member of the Executive Board at Lufthansa Passage and Chief Commercial Officer. In the past three years as CEO of SunExpress, he has successfully realigned the company, significantly expanded it and successfully positioned it economically.

Patrick Staudacher will join Lufthansa Group on 1 May 2020. He will take over the reoriented position of CFO & Head of Business Development for the Lufthansa core brand. The appointment also takes place with a view towards the planned legal independence of the Lufthansa airline. Patrick Staudacher (43) has been with Boston Consulting Group since 2008. Most recently, he was a senior partner there and an expert for the areas airlines, aerospace and post-merger integration.

With the quick decision for the new management of Eurowings and Brussels Airlines as well as the realignment of the CFO position at the Lufthansa airline, we are systematically continuing our modernization course. With Jens Bischof, we have appointed an outstanding CEO for Eurowings. He will continue to lead the airline with a high level of autonomy, complete the turnaround that has begun, and position the airline as a strong and popular brand for passengers and employees. Going forward, Brussels Airlines in Belgium will have a first-class and very experienced airline manager in Dieter Vranckx who will continue to push forward on the course that has been charted. We are also pleased to welcome Patrick Staudacher to the executive team, who will provide new impulses for the leadership and development of the Lufthansa airline,” says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

11 December 2019

Photo: copyright © Brussels Airlines




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