Career notes: Three Management Positions Filled at Austrian Airlines


• Jens Ritter appointed COO of the extended Executive Board
• Markus Christl to assume the position of Head of Human Resources
• Susanne Svejda will be Head of Ground Operations in the future

Jens Ritter, who has already been in charge of most operations of the red-white-red airline since February 2016, will serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a member of the extended Executive Board in the future. In this position, he will be responsible for a major part of the airline’s operational business, including Flight Operations, Safety and Security, Planning and Control, Training, Technical and Ground Operations.

Jens Ritter, aged 46, began his aviation career in the year 2000 after his aviation and aerospace studies in Munich and his training as an Airbus A320 pilot in the Lufthansa Pilot School in Bremen. In 2008, he switched to the Airbus A330/340 as a pilot for long-haul routes. In 2014, he was trained to work as a captain on Airbus A320 aircraft for Germanwings. Ritter assumed his first management position in 2005 when he was named Team Manager for the “A380 Onboard IT” project. Later he held other management positions and played a role in introducing the paperless cockpit at Lufthansa. Starting in 2011, Ritter was involved in the area of Flight Operations and Fuel Efficiency at Lufthansa. In 2014, he assumed management responsibility for Operations Efficiency and Strategy at Lufthansa Passage. At the same time, he was also head of the Group project to standardize Group-wide flight operations processes within the Lufthansa Group. Since February 2016, Jens Ritter has served as the Accountable Manager Austrian Airlines for most of the airline’s operational business. Since 2018, he has also been Process Owner Flight Ops Digitalization & Efficiency and is thus responsible for the digitalization of Flight Operations in the entire Lufthansa Group. Ritter is married and father of three children.

Markus Christl will be the new Head of Human Resources
Markus Christl, currently Head of Ground Operations and thus responsible for the global Ground Handling of the national carrier, will take charge of all personnel-related issues for Austrian Airlines starting on March 1, 2020. Christl, who can look back at 20 years of management experience in various areas of the company and extensive negotiation experience with the Works Council and trade union, will succeed Nathalie Rau, who has decided to move on to a new professional challenge outside the Lufthansa Group.

Markus Christl, aged 48, began his career at Austrian Airlines in 1996 as Deputy Head of Crew Planning after his business studies. From 1998 to 2004, he served as Head of Crew Planning, and in this time was responsible for the economic implementation of long-term, medium-term and short-term personnel planning for the airline’s flying personell. He acted as Director Project Management for all projects within Austrian Airlines in the period 2004 to 2006. Up until 2010, Christl managed Operating Controlling for Austrian Airlines before working for two years as Senior Director Hub Operation, Quality Management & Corporate Security. He was then named Vice President Ground Operations with management responsibility for global ground handling. Christl is married and has five children.

Susanne Svejda assumes the position of Head of Ground Operations
Susanne Svejda, also an experienced manager from the company’s own ranks, will succeed Markus Christl. Up until now the 38-year-old manager has been Senior Director Operational Steering and Support, and was therefore responsible for the Austrian Airlines Hub Control Center at Vienna Airport. This includes coordination, monitoring and control of all station-relevant ground processes for Austrian Airlines and its handling partners.

Susanne Svejda started her career in the airline sector at Swissport. She subsequently spent several years in various positions on behalf of Lufthansa in Vienna. She optimally contributed her expertise as a Station Manager when she worked as Regional Station Manager Austria for SWISS and Lufthansa. In 2012, she assumed responsibility for the airline’s station operations in all of Europe as part of Austrian Airlines Ground Operations, and in 2014 for all station operations abroad. From 2016 to 2018, Svejda served as Deputy Nominated Person Ground & Cargo Operations Austrian Airlines and was Head of the Ground Services and Performance Management Department at Austrian Airlines. In addition, she has been working as Deputy Vice President Ground Operations since 2016 and in her capacity as Senior Director Operational Steering and Support is thus responsible for the global coordination and monitoring of Austrian Airlines ground handling and all customer airlines at Vienna Airport, amongst other tasks. Susanne Svejda is married and has a son.

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Tanja Gruber
Telephone +43 (0)5 1766-11211


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