The SWISS Board of Directors has appointed Jens Fehlinger as the company’s new CEO. He will take up his new duties on 1 October 2024. Jens Fehlinger, who is 43, began his professional career as a pilot, has performed a range of management functions within the Lufthansa Group and presently serves as Managing Director of Lufthansa City Airlines. He succeeds Dieter Vranckx, who has been appointed to the Lufthansa Group Executive Board, on which he will take up his new duties on 1 July 2024. The SWISS Board of Directors has further appointed Heike Birlenbach to serve as Interim SWISS CEO until Jens Fehlinger assumes his new position.

Jens Fehlinger will assume the function of CEO of Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) on 1 October 2024. Fehlinger, who is 43, began his professional career in 2006 with the Lufthansa Group, and went on to hold a range of management positions including Head of Corporate Airline Strategy & Business Development for Lufthansa Airlines and Head of Operations Performance Management & Analytics for the Lufthansa Group. He headed the Lufthansa Group’s crisis management office during the COVID-19 pandemic; and he also led the Group’s subsequent ReNew restructuring programme.

In the past few years, Jens Fehlinger has served as Co-Managing Director of Lufthansa CityLine, while simultaneously establishing and developing the new Lufthansa City Airlines company as Managing Director. He also holds an airline transport pilot’s licence, and serves as a pilot on the Lufthansa CityLine Airbus A320-family fleet.

Jens Fehlinger studied aviation engineering and management in Bremen and traffic and transport in Darmstadt (Germany). He also holds an Executive MBA from ie Business School in Madrid.

Jens Fehlinger is a German national. He is married and has two children.

A connoisseur with vision

Reto Francioni, Chairman of the SWISS Board of Directors, is convinced that Jens Fehlinger is the right person to head Switzerland’s leading airline. “In Jens Fehlinger we have secured the services for our company of a genuine connoisseur of the air transport sector,” Francioni explains. “He has accumulated extensive experience in various areas within the Lufthansa Group; and he has proven well able to deliver innovations in our industry. He has shown vision, strategic flair and operational expertise, along with an ability to work closely with his teams, to establish a new airline; and, in doing so, he has confirmed his capacity to guide a company to success. With his personality, too, he will fit excellently not only into our SWISS Management Board but also into our particular SWISS culture. I look forward to working with him, and I wish him every success and satisfaction in his new position.”

“I am really looking forward to joining SWISS,” Jens Fehlinger adds. “It’s a great company that has performed outstandingly well, especially in the last few years, and that has emerged from the recent crisis as a sound and growing concern. It has achieved this above all through its dedicated, open and innovative team – a team that celebrates its Swissness with pride. This Swissness is a vital commodity which makes SWISS unique. I see it as my new duty to ensure that we continue to cultivate this invaluable company asset. And I am particularly looking forward to becoming part of the SWISS team.”

Jens Fehlinger succeeds Dieter Vranckx, who will take up his new duties on the Lufthansa Group Executive Board on 1 July 2024 (see the media release of 23 February 2024).

For the period until Jens Fehlinger assumes his new SWISS duties, SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Heike Birlenbach will serve as Interim CEO.