Lufthansa Shakes Up Management After Split Into Two Airline Arms

  • Changes are part of push to lift earnings by 500 million euros
  • Carrier says structure should allow for faster decisions

Deutsche Lufthansa AG has shaken up its management as part of a push to save 500 million euros ($543 million) by consolidating operations under two airline divisions.

Sadiq Gillani, former head of strategy across the group, will move to the Eurowings discount arm with responsibility for developing its network and fleet. He’ll be succeeded in his old role by William Willms, who previously worked in finance at the company’s maintenance unit.

Wolfgang Kohlhagen, who was in charge of Lufthansa’s Frankfurt-based cabin crew during their most disruptive strike ever in November, takes charge of health management, to be replaced by Kai Duve, the former head of internal audit. Raimund Mueller becomes chief pilot after previously running Munich flights, with incumbent Werner Knorr returning to the cockpit.

The changes, revealed Monday by spokesman Andreas Bartels in response to questions from Bloomberg, are aimed at speeding decision-making and reducing complexity.

They follow the reorganization of the group into two units: one formed of Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines and run by Harry Hohmeister, the other comprising businesses being brought under the Eurowings brand, led by Karl Ulrich Garnadt. The process will involve 150 job cuts as the number of management layers is reduced to three from four.

Nico Buchholz, who managed the groupwide fleet and has joined Bombardier Inc., won’t be replaced, Bartels said. His duties will instead be part of the remit of Detlef Kayser, who took over a wider fleet and strategy role on Jan. 1.

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