The break-up of Air Berlin is on the way, now the major shareholder, Etihad from Abu Dhabi cut the ties to the previous Berlin CEO Stefan Pichler. It occurs 31. Back in January, successor to Thomas Winkelmann, the German Lufthansa, Air Berlin announced after a telephone conference of the Air Berlin Board of Directors on Sunday.
In Abu Dhabi at the headquarters of Etihad seems to have a preference for medial tympanic beats before Christmas. 19. December 2011, said Etihad to increase Air Berlin holding to more than 29Prozent, whereby the Berliner got a financier, who nurtured the company again and again. Almost exactly a year later, reported Etihad buying majority of Air Berlin’s frequent flyer program Topbonus to the astronomical price of 184 million euros. The led for Air Berlin the only positive accounts of the past years. Now Christmas is approaching again, and the chief change is sealed.
Officially Pichler is only in the new year, and at his own request. Formally, he receives a friendly farewell given after the three-way division of Germany’s second largest airline, is sealed. Pichler had been brought in for a restructuring. In addition to a “new Air Berlin” with a limited route network, a new holiday flyer, 38 Air-Berlin-Jets, including the personnel, least, Lufthansa for their brands Euro wings and Austrian Airlines is formed from the subsidiary, Niki, along with TUI fly. However, in these arrangements Pichler was involved only on the fringes. More involved, the former Air Berlin is said to have been-chief financial officer Ulf Hüttmeyer was changed in 2015 in the Berlin Etihad-Europe-Central. The ratio of Pichler’s to the major shareholder, Etihad and its CEO, James Hogan, was already longer than hypothermic. The Option of a later separation, which can strengthen the impression of a farewell in the Good would have been, was not pursued.
With the change from Pichler to Winkelmann, the ratio of the Air-Berlin-rival and long-time Etihad critic Lufthansa changes to the company from Abu Dhabi. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said on Friday after the conclusion of the lease contract: “We can imagine, our cooperation in the future to other areas to expand.” Because Etihad had-Chairman of the Board, Hogan, according to information from industry circles asked Spohr because of the search for Successors to the Council. On the free market is not a candidate for Air Berlin could, therefore, find that the would have brought the necessary Expertise, and the Post wanted to apply. Winkelmann, who led prior to his current Post as site Manager of Lufthansa in Munich, the subsidiary company, Germanwings, has agreed. Spohr agreed, Etihad, the came located. Also in the new holiday flight Alliance from Niki and TUI fly, it leaves it up to the German minority partner in the leadership. There, TUI-Manager Roland Keppler will assu me the post of CEO.
Winkelmann takes a commitment for several years, but gets a right of return to the Lufthansa awarded. Him a double role. He needs to explore options for a closer and closer Together, Lufthansa and Air Berlin, of which Euro wings is supposed to benefit. And he is a traffic guard, so that the group is armed with the crane Logo for the case with Air Berlin. Low-cost providers such as Ryanair or Easyjet are in the wait position to jump into gaps, Air Berlin, would leave. Prior to a transfer of the residual Air Berlin is also the unresolved question of who came up for their net debt amounting to 1.1 billion Euro would, however, be in addition to antitrust concerns.
Pichler behind the record is losses. Air Berlin flew in 2016 for the first time in the summer quarter deficit. Previously, the holiday season was always a bright spot in a gloomy year as a whole. The Pichler developed a restructuring concept that had been rejected by Etihad as early as 2015. He wanted to reduce the size of the fleet and from existing leases. That was Etihad are too expensive. The self-conscious Pichler remained, nevertheless, the cooperation between Berlin and Abu Dhabi possible, but it is increasingly a Back-and-Forth like tug-of-war. Secretly Pichler understood his Post as a rehabilitation opportunity in Germany, after he suffered in 2003, with his departure, the travel group Thomas Cook and its airline Condor, with a career break. He then worked for airlines in Australia, Kuwait and in the Fiji Islands. To be circulated in Oceania, his move to Berlin, mistakenly, that he is a result of a call to the German government, he took willingly.
Winkelmann, the fourth new CEO in Berlin within a period of five years. Therefore, is also in the focus, what is the role of the Board of Directors, under the leadership of the former Metro CEO Hans-Joachim Körber played in the years of the Contagion of Air Berlin.