Airport Holding MFAG Reshuffles Management

Stunning news for the 1,000 employees of the East German Mitteldeutsche Airport Holding - MFAG (Leipzig-Halle + Dresden): They were informed that the structure of the parent corporation will be streamlined with new management already in the starting blocks ready to take over responsibilities.

MFAG members
MFAG members

There will be drastic changes at the airport holding MFAG at both top deck level and its overall organizational structure; after years of plugging along - if not adrift in a sea of boredom. Critics claim that this unique project that started shortly after Germany’s reunification has barely developed any further after two key decisions: The announcement made by DHL Express a decade ago to establish their main gateway at LEJ airport and the EU/NATO agreement with Salis GmbH – the Volga-Dnepr / Antonov joint venture – to permanently base some An-124 freighters at Leipzig airport to provide uplift capacity when needed by member states.
Ever since then, only the express segment has grown above market average, while general cargo and passenger numbers remained at poor levels both in LEJ and DRS. Given these facts, the public ownership of the holding, the State of Saxony (77 percent), Saxony-Anhalt (18.54 percent) as well as several cities and communities (4.1 percent) have concluded that changes are inevitable to reduce the annual losses shouldered by the tax payers and to get the company afloat and back on track for growth.

Dierk Naether is no longer MD of LEJ
Dierk Naether is no longer MD of LEJ

LEJ’s Naether leaves….
The first victim of the impending staff restructuring measures is 48-year old Dierk Naether, Leipzig-Halle’s airport boss. When he comes back from his vacation he can pack his bags and leave the office. Responsible for LEJ since 2008, his working contract expires and will not be extended. Dierk, who is said to be extremely popular with the airport employees, will lose his job to Johannes Jaehn (38), the new MFAG boss. Jaehn, previously from the DIY superstore OBI, plans on unifying top managerial functions at both LEJ and DRS and to run them under his supervision starting October 1st.
This raises questions about the professional future of Bettina Ganghofer, the former Managing Director of ground handler PACTL (in Shanghai), who became Dresden Chief only 2 years ago. According to the local press her fate will be decided by the end of this year once MFAG’s new organizational structure becomes clear. People close to the case believe that Bettina, who is a true cargo veteran having demonstrated her professional skills and abilities for many years, will be offered a new top position within MFAG holding. Asked about her perspective, company speaker Christian Adler told CargoForwarder Global that she’ll keep her Dresden job.

Markus Kopp
Markus Kopp

… soon to be followed by long-standing MFAG boss Kopp, reliable sources say
Still missing in this overview is an answer to what will happen, job-wise, with long-time MFAG boss Markus Kopp. So far what is known is that Johannes Jaehn will take over his responsibilities and Kopp will be relegated as Head of Marketing and Sales. 
However, according to exclusive information obtained by CargoForwarder Global from credible sources inside the administration of Saxony State (the main MFAG stakeholder) Kopp will have to leave the company by the end of this year. All he will have to do during the transition period from October until the end of December is support his successor Johannes Jaehn and get him acquainted with his new MFAG duties as quickly as possible.

Heiner Siegmund  /  Michael Taweel

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