Frankfurt Surprising change in the aviation industry. Peter Gerber, previously head of the Lufthansa subsidiary Brussels Airlines, will become CEO of the leisure airline Condor on February 1, 2024. Condor announced this on Tuesday evening.
Gerber has resigned from Brussels with immediate effect. One reason for this may be that Lufthansa’s contracts contain a non-competition clause that prohibits direct switching to a rival for twelve months. The longer Gerber had stayed at Brussels, the later he could have started at Condor.
At Lufthansa, the personnel should have caused some unrest. On the one hand, it fills a gap at Brussels Airlines in the short term – and that in a phase in which the airline is currently having to work its way out of the pandemic towards the profit zone. On the other hand, Gerber is going to the airline that Lufthansa wants to compete with for customers with the relatively new Eurowings Discover platform.
Lufthansa board member Christina Foerster will now temporarily take over the management at Brusels, Lufthansa announced on Tuesday. Foerster had previously held operational responsibility for the airline. From 2016 she initially worked there as Chief Commercial Officer, from 2018 to 2020 she was CEO.
Gerber will inherit Condor’s long-time boss Ralf Teckentrup, who has led the airline through several crises – triggered first by the bankruptcy of the former mother Thomas Cook, then by the failed sale to the Polish parent company of the airline LOT and finally by the consequences of the pandemic , when air traffic was grounded. Only when the airline was taken over by the financial investor Attestor did some security return.
No easy task awaits Gerber in his future role. On the one hand, after the many hardships of the past few years, the workforce is slowly coming back with wishes for better conditions.
Employee representatives are also concerned because the owner Attestor recently founded a new holiday airline in Estonia, Marabu. The pilot association Vereinigung Cockpit fears that this company could be used to circumvent German working conditions and collective agreements.
The airline has also started modernizing the entire fleet. That is an enormous feat. The aircraft have to be integrated into the fleet and flight operations, pilots have to be trained and the maintenance of the jets has to be carried out.
With Gerber, however, Condor is getting an experienced aviation manager. He started his career in 1992 at Lufthansa. Before he moved to Brussels in 2021, he was on the board of the cargo airline Lufthansa Cargo for twelve years, which he headed as CEO from 2014.
It has long been speculated in Lufthansa circles that Gerber was dissatisfied with his job at Brussels. The fact that Lufthansa Cargo has developed so well over the past several years is also credited to him in the industry. Gerber may have expected more at Lufthansa with a view to his career, Lufthansa connoisseurs suspect. There are no corresponding statements from Gerber himself.
More: Condor owner Attestor founds new holiday airline.