Hamburg Aviation has a new managing director, with Ulf Weber due to take the reins from Dr Franz Josef Kirschfink on 1 July 2020. Dr Kirschfink, who has been in the role since 2014, is retiring in the middle of the year. Weber (52) is a qualified aerospace engineer and a highly experienced aviation executive who, in 2001, was part of the team that established Swiss International Air Lines. Weber also spent several years as CEO of AeroLogic, a joint venture freight carrier established by Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express, and most recently, led ASL Airlines Belgium.
“I was born in Hamburg and I have followed the development of this city as a centre of aviation my whole life. That I will now be playing a role in shaping this as managing director of Hamburg Aviation, building on the successful work of Dr Kirschfink, is a source of great delight and pride,” stated Weber.
“Particularly in the face of the current corona situation, the global aerospace industry is facing huge challenges. This makes it all the more important for me that our industry sticks together, continuing to develop a joint outlook with future prospects for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. We need to pay particular attention to making full use of our potential, maintaining the high priority given to innovative and forward-looking topics such as the commercial, sustainable use of hydrogen, digitalisation and cooperation within the supply chain and urban air mobility.”
Senator Michael Westhagemann, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation commented, “Hamburg’s great strengths are its networks, which we can build upon not just in the good times but also in the hard times. Right now, the role of our Leading-Edge cluster, Hamburg Aviation, is especially vital, because the aviation industry is particularly hard hit by the crisis. So I am delighted that we could win Ulf Weber, an experienced leader with a deep understanding of aviation, to take the controls of our network and safely lead it through this turbulent phase. At the same time, I want to thank Dr Kirschfink for what he has accomplished as managing director. Thanks in large part to his efforts, Hamburg Aviation today is one of the world’s leading cluster networks.”
Dr Kirschfink added, “Mr Weber is taking over at an extraordinarily demanding time. Nevertheless, I am confident that he will master his new role with flying colours. He is every bit the experienced aviation manager who knows how to lead in a crisis. And with Hamburg Aviation, he is taking over a cluster network that is more strongly established and better connected internationally than ever before. Our members, now numbering 185, represent the entire value-creation chain of the aviation industry. There will be no shortage of fresh ideas.”
About Ulf Weber
An engineering graduate, Ulf Weber brings more than 25 years of experience in aerospace, logistics and consultancy to the role. The 52-year-old began his career at the former Swiss airline, Crossair, following on from studies in aeronautics and aerospace engineering within the transportation sciences field at the Technical University of Berlin and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Over the past 20 years, Weber has been in senior leadership positions with companies including Swiss International Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (as CEO), Brussels Airlines, DHL Express/AeroLogic (as managing director) and was most recently CEO of ASL Airlines Belgium (formerly TNT Airways).