Executive Board Member Operations at Lufthansa Cargo, Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, born in 1955, leaves the airline he has served for 28 long years in various positions at the end of this month. Last Wednesday, colleagues, companions, customers and handpicked media reps honoured Karl-Rudolf during an emotional farewell-party celebrated in Lufthansa’s huge maintenance hangar at Frankfurt Airport.
“Your human warmth and appreciation makes it a bit easier for me to leave this great carrier and start a new phase in my life which I don’t have an idea yet where it will lead me to,” stated the
visibly moved cargo manager during his farewell-speech when addressing the many attendees.
Aviation fascinated him all his life
In episodes, he looked back on an exciting and eventful career that started in Frankfurt in 1988 where he held responsibilities in aircraft maintenance. The field of aviation has fascinated the graduate engineer from day one, he confessed. Watching planes taking off, smelling their kerosene burn, hearing their engines roar, caused Kalle to experience a thrilling feeling each time, as friends and colleagues fondly call the manager. His deep desire to be involved in this business and become part of it developed into a driving force and brought him ultimately to Lufthansa in the 1980ies after having accomplished a number of different responsibilities beforehand. Once there, he stepped up the career ladder continuously, becoming Head of Operating Equipment Services and founder of LH Engineering and Operational Services, an entity outsourced under his guidance, known today as Lufthansa LEOS. From there, it took him, his wife Birgit and their three children to Hamburg, where Kalle became Head of Marketing and Sales at Lufthansa Technik. “He’s always been keen to not only develop new strategies and concepts in his office but get them to live in every day’s operation as well,” Lufthansa’s Chief Officer of Hub Management, Group Airlines (LH, AUA, Swiss) and Logistics, Harry Hohmeister stated when acknowledging Kalle’s extraordinary intellectual and practical capabilities.
Streamlining operational processes at FRA
He pointed out in particular Rupprecht’s role as airline representative to enhance and conclude a system partnership with airport operator Fraport AG, “our natural ally,” (Hohmeister). A challenging task he fully committed himself to, which lead to many smaller and bigger results that streamlined operational processes at Rhine-Main and improved traffic flows at Lufthansa’s prime gateway. “He’s a man with a very clear vision and the tenacity that is needed to implement concepts successfully,” exclaimed Hohmeister.
Quality came always first
In his laudation, LH Cargo’s CEO Peter Gerber pointed out Rupprecht’s outstanding managerial role in bettering the operational quality continuously thus increasing the carrier’s performance to all-time heights. According to IATA’s global quality monitory system ‘Cargo 2000’ “Lufthansa Cargo has consecutively taken first place during the last eight months,” Peter lauded. This also is a very presentable result of Kalle’s untiring efforts, exclaimed Lufthansa Cargo’s boss. “You will be extremely hard to replace, but in Soeren Stark we found a competent and versatile manager that will follow in your footsteps.”
Kalle’s new role
Addressing him directly he pointed out Rupprecht’s future role – as grandfather. “Becoming a caring granddad for your newly-born grandchild will be your and your wife Birgit’s next mission that both of you together with your daughter, her husband and the entire family will surely enjoy.”
Dr. Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht’s last day in office at Lufthansa Cargo will be March 31, 2016. He then will move from Frankfurt to 500 km distant Hamburg where he and Birgit will live.