• Joe Breitfeller

SWISS Announces Top Management Restructuring of Flight Operations Department

As part of a broader restructuring of their Flight Operations management, SWISS has appointed Oliver Buchhofer to the newly created position of Head of Operations from April 1, 2021. Buchhofer will also serve as the company’s Accountable Manager.

Left to Right: SWISS COO Thomas Frick and the Airline's New Head of Operations, Oliver Buchhofer - Courtesy SWISS

On Thursday (March 4, 2021), Swiss International Air Lines announced the restructuring of their top management in flight operations. From April 1, 2021, Oliver Buchhofer, currently SWISS’s Head of Flight Operations, will assume the company’s newly created position as Head of Operations. Mr. Buchhofer will also serve as SWISS’ Accountable Manager, a position currently held by company COO Thomas Frick. As previously announced, Mr. Frick will step down at the end of March, and the company’s CEO, Dieter Vranckx, will take on the additional role of COO. The management changes will reduce the SWISS Management Board from four to three members. Thomas Frick will remain active at SWISS on a project basis.

In Thursday’s announcement, SWISS’ CEO, Dieter Vranckx, said,

“I am delighted that, in Oliver Buchhofer, we have recruited such an experienced aviation expert from within our own ranks to be our new Head of Operations. Oliver has already proved in his present capacity that he is excellently equipped to ensure our safe, reliable and efficient flight operations, even in today’s unprecedented crisis times. And I wish him every success and satisfaction in his new capacity.

“We would like to offer Thomas Frick our sincere thanks for his many years of outstanding service and dedication to our company. Throughout that time, he has ably proven all his skills and expertise – not only as a member of our cockpit crew corps, but also in the various management positions he has held, most recently on our Management Board in these extremely challenging times.”

Oliver Buchhofer (44) is a captain and instructor on the SWISS Airbus A320 Family fleet, and will report directly to Mr. Vranckx in his new role as Head of Operations. In addition to his flying duties, Oliver Buchhofer has served as SWISS’ Head of Flight Operations since 2016, where he oversaw 1,400 pilots and strategic responsibility for flight ops. He also Heads the company’s Emergency Committee, where he is responsible for the implementation of standards and regulations throughout the Lufthansa Group. Mr. Buchhofer served Austrian Airlines and Tyrolean Airlines before joining SWISS in 2007. He is a resident of Meilen, near Zurich and is the married father of a daughter. Mr. Buchhofer has an MBA from the University of Zurich.

Thomas Frick (61) has serves as the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) /since 2020, and will step down at the end of March as planned to devote himself to future strategic projects at SWISS. Mr. Frick was appointed as Accountable Manager in 2016 and previously served as Head of Flight Operations from 2011. Launching his career in 1982 with Swissair, he spent many years as a pilot for Swissair and SWISS, with various management and training positions, including MD-11 and later Airbus A330/340 fleet chief.

Mr. Frick's recent career milestones include the introduction of the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A220 into the SWISS fleet and assuming overall responsibility for crew training within the Lufthansa Group. He also oversaw the amalgamation of the Swiss International Air Lines and Swiss Global Air Lines flight operations platforms.

Source: Swiss International Air Lines


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