Surprising personnel decision by the Lufthansa Group. The current head of its Cargo division, Dorothea von Boxberg, is leaving Lufthansa Cargo to become CEO of Lufthansa Group member,
Brussels Airlines (SN). There, she again succeeds her predecessor at Lufthansa Cargo, Peter Gerber, who is moving to leisure carrier, Condor to become its new Chief Executive.
There is a well-known proverb. “When success is greatest, one should leave” [vulgo: “Quit while you’re ahead.”]. This is true for Ms. von Boxberg. Since taking over the chair of the cargo airline in MAR21, she has presented one annual record result after another; most recently an adjusted EBIT of 1.6 billion euros for fiscal 2022.
SN needs financial U-turn
At Brussels Airlines, where 15APR23 will be her first day in office, it can be expected that Ms. von Boxberg’s main task will be to further reduce the airline’s losses and to achieve a much-needed financial U-turn. During the pandemic, the Belgian carrier burned 233 million euros. In fiscal 2022, SN lost 75 million euros, but managed to halve its red figures stemming from the previous year. The results of the cargo business are included in Lufthansa Cargo’s balance sheet, since it manages the Belgian airline's freight activities.
In a release, Lufthansa emphasizes that, in her new role, Ms. von Boxberg will also assume the function of “Representative of the Executive Board to the European Commission.” Her appointment is still pending approval by the Board of Directors of SN Airholding,
SN faces a transformation
Yet, that should be a no-brainer since Christina Foerster, member of the Executive Board of the Lufthansa Group, also chairs the Board of Directors of SN Airholding. Commenting on the personnel decision, Ms. Foerster stated: “I am very pleased that Dorothea von Boxberg, an experienced and skilled airline manager from within the Lufthansa Group, is assuming the leadership position at Brussels Airlines. With her extensive knowledge and broad understanding of cargo and passenger airlines, she will continue to drive the successful transformation of Brussels Airlines, Belgium's national airline, in the coming years.”
The successor for Dorothea von Boxberg at Lufthansa Cargo is to be announced as soon as possible, the release says. Until then, the two Executive Board members, Ashwin Bhat (Chief Commercial Officer), and Dietmar Focke (Chief Operating Officer and Head of Human Resources), are responsible for the fate of the airline.
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