It seems that the Lufthansa Supervisory Board has finally decided that a stronger hand is needed over at their 100% daughter, Austrian Airlines.
The Board, in its meeting on 11 September decided on a surprise move by announcing that Dr. Andreas Otto (51), Board Member at Lufthansa Cargo for Product & Market Development, will move to
Vienna on 1 October of this year to take up the position of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) with the Austrian national carrier.
He will replace Karsten Benz, who moves back into the Lufthansa HQ in Frankfurt.
This personnel decision is probably being seen as highly necessary due to the fact that Austrian, despite past investments and various management changes, has not come up within the LH group as being a real bottom line provider.
It looks like the Board now insists on a hard and reliable hand in OS to develop commercial possibilities and advantages. The right job for Andreas.
Dr Otto has been with Lufthansa Cargo since 2000 and is a much respected and well liked person among both LH Cargo clients, the carrier’s staff and also the media people.
He’s had many tough situations to master in the past and is known for his quiet but forceful way of approaching and tackling problems in the cargo world.
His past experience in the banking world and business administration studies has been of great advantage in his career with Lufthansa.
Therefore, a good move to place him in Vienna and bring new wind under the sails of Austrian Airlines.
The Austrian carrier remains an important part of the Lufthansa group and despite the fact that results are not what is expected should not deter from the fact that Austrian must continue to play a role in LH’s strategy in this part of Europe.
LH holds on to Austrian
Harry Hohmeister, Chairman of the Board at both Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa Cargo stated “I am happy that with Dr. Andreas Otto, we have an experienced and successful airline manager from within our own ranks, who for the past 14 years has helped change the course of Lufthansa Cargo into one of the world’s most profitable cargo airlines.”
He adds further that “this new management posting confirms the Lufthansa Group’s commitment to the future development of Austrian Airlines as a high quality carrier in Vienna.”
The Austrian flag carrier suffered a further setback lately when the European Court of Justice ruled that they should pay back salary amounts to staff estimated to be in the region of many million euros.
This ruling comes from the fact that after LH took over OS in 2012, all work contracts were deemed as null and void. The court states that until a new contract is officially on hand, that the old one is valid and this would mean Austrian must reimburse its staff from 2012 up until a new deal has or will be made.
Not an easy start for Andreas Otto, but that smile of his has broken many an iceberg in the past.
CargoForwarder Global wishes him all the best of good luck.
John Mc Donagh