Thomas Klühr to step down as Swiss CEO

Swiss CEO Thomas Klühr

Thomas Klühr, who has been CEO of Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) since 2016, has decided to step down at the end of 2020.

Following his departure, Thomas Klühr will in future serve on the new and yet-to-be-established Swiss Aviation Foundation. The Board of Directors will decide on his successor as Swiss CEO in the fourth-quarter period.

“Our entire Board of Directors deeply regrets Thomas Klühr’s decision,” said Swiss board of directors’ chairman , Reto Francioni.

“Our company has a great deal to thank him for, and not only during the coronavirus pandemic of the last few months. Thomas Klühr has brought SWISS a long way further on its successful course. And following the outbreak of Covid-19, with his skill and his commitment he has played an essential part in stabilising the company in financial and operational terms.

“I would like to offer Thomas Klühr particular thanks for delaying his originally planned departure at the end of March of this year when the present crisis developed, and for subsequently steering Swiss with such dexterity through these difficult times.

“We respect this step he is taking for personal reasons, and we offer him our sincere thanks for all his substantial achievements.”

Thomas Klühr is to leave Swiss at the end of 2020 after some five years at the company and more than 30 years within the Lufthansa Group. He will simultaneously step down as chairman of the board of directors of Edelweiss Air.

Klühr has been CEO of Swiss since February 2016, in which time he has overseen the biggest fleet modernisation in the company’s history.

Lufthansa Group CEO, Carsten Spohr added: “I would like to thank Thomas Klühr for his many years of work, commitment and successes at the Lufthansa Group. In the more than 30 years that he has been with us, he has helped shape our business in various positions and capacities. And over that time he has earned the highest admiration and respect, not only in Germany and Switzerland but throughout the airline industry.”

One of the conditions of the Swiss Confederation’s recent agreement to back bridging bank loans to Swiss was the creation of a new Swiss Aviation Foundation to monitor the due observance of the associated accord between the Confederation and the Lufthansa Group on the future development of the Zurich Airport hub.

The Swiss Confederation will appoint the new foundation’s chair and two further members, and Swiss and Lufthansa will appoint one member each. Thomas Klühr will be one of them.

“We are pleased and grateful that Thomas Klühr has agreed to sit on the yet-to-be-established Swiss Aviation Foundation after he relinquishes his SWISS CEO duties,” Francioni confirmed.

“With his vast experience of both the air transport sector and the Lufthansa Group, he is an ideal choice to serve on this new body.”

The further Swiss Aviation Foundation members will be appointed by the end of 2020.

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