The WestJet Group has appointed Alexis von Hoensbroech as its new Chief Executive Officer. According to the company, the official start date for von Hoensbroech is subject to the timing of a successful immigration process, which is expected to be completed before the end of Q1 2022.
After former WestJet CEO Ed Sims announced his retirement on 09JUN 2021, Executive VP and CFO Harry Taylor stepped up to take the role as interim CEO, while the company searched for a new CEO, as Open Jaw has reported.
Friday’s announcement came with word that Taylor will continue in the role of interim CEO until von Hoensbroech assumes his new role, and then Taylor will resume his position as Executive Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
“It gives me great pleasure, following our global search, to welcome Alexis to the WestJet Group as CEO. Alexis understands WestJet’s low-cost roots and the importance of cost competitiveness in our vision for the future. We’re extremely pleased to welcome Alexis to our team and into WestJet’s remarkable culture,” said Chris Burley, Chairman of WestJet’s board of directors.
Prior to accepting this role, von Hoensbroech served as CEO of Austrian Airlines, beginning in 2018, where he led the airline through the COVID-19 crisis. Austrian Airlines is part of the Lufthansa Group, and Austria’s largest airline, operating a significant network in central and eastern Europe.
von Hoensbroech said, “I am really excited to be joining the WestJet team. WestJet is a remarkable success story, bringing affordable air travel to millions of Canadians. I am very much looking forward to working with the management team, the Board and all WestJetters and Swoopsters to write the next chapter of this success story, as the airline emerges from the pandemic.”
Before serving as CEO of Austrian Airlines, von Hoensbroech joined the Lufthansa Group in 2005, responsible for the strategy and subsidiaries of Lufthansa airline. From there he worked on various integration projects; became head of commercial at the airline’s biggest hub, before moving to Lufthansa Cargo AG. Most recently, as CEO and CFO of Austrian Airlines, he held management responsibilities for human resources, business development corporate communications, political and legal affairs and the CFO functions.