September 29 2020  |  People

​Klühr to step down as SWISS CEO

By Rick Lundstrom

Thomas Klühr, who has been CEO of Swiss International Air Lines since 2016, has asked the SWISS Board of Directors to release him from his duties at the end of 2020.

“The Board of Directors has acceded to his request with the greatest regret, but with respect for the personal reasons behind his decision and with its express thanks and appreciation for his substantial achievements at SWISS and his more than 30 years of service with the Lufthansa Group,” said a release from the airline.

Following his departure, Klühr will 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.

“Our entire Board of Directors deeply regrets Thomas Klühr’s decision,” said Reto Francioni, Chairman of the SWISS Board of Directors. “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 stabilizing the company in financial and operational terms.”

Carsten Spohr, CEO of the Lufthansa Group, 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,” Reto Francioni confirms. “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.” Other Swiss Aviation Foundation members will be appointed by the end of 2020.

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