Alexis von Hoensbroech will be appointed Chief Executive Officer of the WestJet Group, the company announced on Friday (Dec. 17).
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 the first quarter of 2022.
Harry Taylor, interim CEO, will continue in the role until that time and then resume his position as Executive Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
Prior to accepting this role, von Hoensbroech served as CEO of Austrian Airlines, starting in 2018, where he led the airline through the COVID-19 crisis, significantly strengthening its competitiveness during a difficult period.
"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. "While at Austrian Airlines, Alexis refocused the airline on its core business, lowering its cost base to address rising competition from ultra-low-cost carriers. Alexis' direct aviation operating experience builds on a career of airline consulting and research work."
von Hoensbroech added: "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."
After obtaining a doctorate in physics, von Hoensbroech spent his early career at the management consultancy company, The Boston Consulting Group, in Munich and Tokyo, with clients primarily from the aviation industry.
He 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 controlling, financing, accounting and sourcing.