Top management shake-up at Brussels Airlines as CEO is let go

Brussels Airlines, an airline giant has made changes to its top management, appointing Christina Foerster as it new Chief Executive Officer effective April 1, 2018.

She becomes the first-ever female to head a Lufthansa Group airline replacing Bernard Gustin who has been at the position since June 1, 2012.

In a press statement copied to thebftonline.com, Brussels Airlines, which Lufthansa has owned since the end of 2016, announced that not only its chief executive Bernard Gustin is expected to leave the company but chief financial officer Jan De Raeymaeker, would both depart by the end of March.

Meanwhile Thibault Demoulin has also been appointed Chief Operating Officer of Brussels Airlines effective April 1, 2018.

The company in its press statement said two new members of the management board will be appointed shortly and further stated that, following the appointment of the new leadership team, Bernard Gustin, present CEO of Brussels Airlines and Jan De Raeymaeker, CFO of the Belgian airline, will support the transition and will leave by March 31.

Commenting on the departure or the changes to top management of the international airline, Thorsten Dirks, Lufthansa Group Executive Board member, CEO of Eurowings and also member of the Brussels Airlines Board of Directors said, “we are convinced that the new team will further strengthen, together with the rest of the Brussels Airlines staff, the already successful cooperation between Brussels Airlines and Eurowings. Only together we will be able to shape the European airline industry and succeed in our sustainable growth plans. Brussels, as the European capital, continues to be a stronghold in our growth strategy.”

The new CEO of Brussels Airline Christina Foerster is no stranger to Belgium carrier as she has been the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer for one and a half years and has been living in the Belgian capital since then.

She has held various high-profile positions in the aviation industry prior to joining Brussels Airlines, among them General Manager Product Management Intercontinental, Vice President Network and Fleet Development and Senior Vice President Network, Group & Alliance Development at the Lufthansa Group.

Also, the new Chief Operating Officer who is Belgian citizen, Thibault Demoulin has been Brussels Airlines’ Senior Vice President Flight Operations and Deputy Accountable Manager for the past 12 years prior to being appointed as COO.

He has an excellent track record in establishing safe, reliable and punctual operations at Brussels Airlines, which makes him the perfect fit as the carrier’s COO according to the airline.

It will be record that, the outgoing CEO of Brussels Airline Mr Gustin won widespread praise in 2014 for his decision to maintain flights to the Ebola stricken countries in Africa like Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, stating at the time that, the airline was an essential bridge for medical teams seeking to reach the affected areas.

He in that stead led the Airline to launch a campaign under the slogan “Africa is not Ebola,” which was hailed by many world leaders and players within the aviation industry.