SWISS names new Edelweiss Air Board of Directors

30 June 2008

SWISS will formally acquire Edelweiss Air on November 1. And with the new subsidiary’s Management Board already appointed, SWISS can now announce the composition of the company’s three-member Board of Directors.

The new Edelweiss Air Board of Directors will be chaired by Harry Hohmeister, SWISS’s Chief Network & Distribution Officer, and will have two further ordinary members: Gaudenz Ambühl, SWISS Chief Operating Officer, and Josef Felder, former CEO of Unique, the operator of Zurich Airport. The new Board of Directors will assume its duties on November 1.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of Josef Felder and Gaudenz Ambühl, who are such proven industry specialists, for our Edelweiss Air Board of Directors,” says Chairman-designate Harry Hohmeister. “And in appointing one of our Board members from outside SWISS’s ranks, we are also underlining the autonomy that Edelweiss Air will enjoy within the SWISS Group.”

“I am pleased to take on this challenge in the tough airline industry,” says Josef Felder. “And I am greatly looking forward to assuming my new duties.”

For Edelweiss Air’s day-to-day operations, Karl Kistler will serve as CEO, while Peter Spring has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer (with effect from July 1). With the designation of its Board of Directors, the new SWISS subsidiary now has its key personnel in place at the strategic level, too.

SWISS’s acquisition of Edelweiss Air is part of the strategic partnership between SWISS and Kuoni that was announced last February. The acquisition was unconditionally approved by the WEKO, Switzerland’s competition commission, in April. In view of the system and organisational modifications required, however, the formal acquisition has been timetabled for November 1.

By combining their activities, SWISS and Edelweiss Air aim to generate sizeable synergies in both distribution and scheduling terms.Edelweiss Air will remain a separate airline within the SWISS Group with its own Management Board, fleet and crews. The Edelweiss Air brand, which was launched in 1995, will also be retained. Edelweiss Air employs some 240 personnel and operates a fleet of three short-haul Airbus A320s and a long-haul Airbus A330-200.