• CCO & CFO Andreas Otto will leave Austrian Airlines at his own request
  • Michael Trestl is the proposed new CCO
  • Francesco Sciortino has been nominated to succeed COO Jens Ritter, who will join Eurowings
  • CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech will also assume additional responsibility as CFO

Andreas Otto, currently Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Austria’s national airline, has decided to leave the company at his own request effective December 31, 2020 in order to pursue new challenges. He spent more than 20 years in Executive Board positions within the Lufthansa Group, and ranks among the most experienced top managers in the Group. He was a Member of the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines over the last six years. In his position as CCO and most recently as CFO as well, Andreas Otto strongly influenced the transformation of Austrian Airlines and spearheaded the realignment of the company. Since the spring of 2020, Andreas Otto has taken the lead in helping the airline master the coronavirus crisis and shaping the financing and aid package for the red-white-red flag carrier.

“I very much regret the fact that we are losing Andreas Otto, an experienced industry expert and highly esteemed executive who decisively helped shape the Lufthansa Group over many years”, says Christina Foerster, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines. “I would like to thank Andreas Otto for his longstanding and successful work and wish him all the best for the future.”

SWISS manager Michael Trestl proposed to succeed Andreas Otto as Chief Commercial Officer

Austrian-born Michael Trestl has been nominated to join the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines effective January 1, 2021, and assume the position of Chief Commercial Officer. The Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines still has to approve the appointment of Mr. Trestl as proposed by the Lufthansa Executive Board. At present Michael Trestl is Head of Network Management at SWISS. He has gained more than ten years of management experience at SWISS as well as at the holiday carrier Edelweiss and is an expert in the fields of strategy and commercial airline management.

Michael Trestl (35) began working for Edelweiss in Zurich as its Business Development Manager in the year 2011. After spending three years in this position, he served as Head of Corporate Development at Edelweiss in the period 2014 to 2017. Mr. Trestl subsequently accepted a position at SWISS, assuming the position of Head of Corporate Development & CEO Office. Since 2018, he has worked as Head of Network Management, with responsibility for network planning on the part of the Swiss flag carrier. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, he has also been the Program Lead RESTART Commercial of the Lufthansa Group. Michael Trestl also has a doctorate in management science. He has a daughter together with his longstanding partner.

COO Jens Ritter joins Eurowings, Francesco Sciortino nominated as his successor

Jens Ritter, Chief Operating Officer of Austrian Airlines, will also leave the company at the end of March 2021. He will assume the role of the new Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Board of Eurowings in Germany. Ritter spent five years as part of the Austrian Airlines management team, first as Accountable Manager and as COO since the beginning of 2020. While working for Austrian Airlines, he reorganized and modernized its operations and put it on a stable footing. Most recently, he served as the company’s crisis manager, leading the operational crisis management of the red-white-red national airline during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like to thank Jens Ritter for his five years of service on behalf of Austrian Airlines, upon which he definitely left on his imprint thanks to his untiring commitment and high quality standards. I would like to wish him every success in his professional future”, states Christina Foerster, Chairwoman of the Austrian Airlines Supervisory Board.

As of April 1, 2021, contingent upon the approval of the Supervisory Board of Austrian Airlines, Jens Ritter will be succeeded by Francesco Sciortino, an experienced manager from the Lufthansa Group’s own ranks. The operations expert is currently Managing Director and Accountable Manager at Germanwings, working in different management positions within the Lufthansa Group over the last approximately 19 years. In the future, Sciortino will serve as the Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines, with responsibility for the operations of Austria’s national airline.

Francesco Sciortino (47) concluded his pilot training in the Lufthansa pilot school. He started his aviation career in 1997 as A320 co-pilot for Austrian Airlines. Parallel to his work as a pilot, he began as an expert fleet advisor for Lufthansa before assuming responsibility for baggage processes of the German airline and heading the newly founded Irregularity Management. Francesco Sciortino gained experience as Head of Ground Operations at Lufthansa Italia in the period 2010 to 2011 before being appointed Project Manager for the integration of Airbus A330 aircraft at Sunexpress Germany in 2015 and later Accountable Manager. He joined the Executive Board of Germanwings in 2017 as Managing Director and Accountable Manager. Mr. Sciortino has a trainer license as an Airbus A320/A330 captain. Francesco Sciortino is married and has one child.

The vacant Executive Board position of Chief Financial Officer will not be filled and will be assumed by Alexis von Hoensbroech as of January 1, 2021 in addition to his role as CEO. As a result, the future Executive Board of Austrian Airlines will consist of Alexis von Hoensbroech as CEO & CFO alongside CCO Michael Trestl and COO Francesco Sciortino.

“I am pleased that we can propose that the Supervisory Board appoints two experienced top managers, Michael Trestl and Francesco Sciortino, to the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines. Thanks to their extensive know-how, they will be able to lead Austrian Airlines out of the crisis and press ahead with the airline’s development with passion, motivation and creative impetus. I am certain that the Executive Board team will successfully steer the company through the coronavirus pandemic and that Austrian Airlines will emerge even stronger from this time”, Austrian Airlines Supervisory Board Chairwoman Christina Foerster concludes.

“I would like to thank Andreas Otto and Jens Ritter. On the basis of their extraordinary commitment, courage and prudence, they developed and strengthened our Austrian Airlines over the last few years and recently maneuvered the airline through the coronavirus crisis”, adds Chief Executive Officer Alexis von Hoensbroech. “At the same time, I am looking forward to working together with Michael Trestl and Francesco Sciortino. Both of them will become part of our company during a very dynamic period of time. I am convinced that we will overcome the challenges of the pandemic with their expertise and put Austrian Airlines back on the road to success.”