Posted on: 21 October 2011 by Mark Howells
The Supervisory Board of airBaltic has named Martin Gauss as the new chief executive officer and chairman of the executive board, a post he will take up on 1 November.
The former CEO of Malev commented on his appointment, “I am very much looking forward to being part of the airBaltic team. The airline has a very strong brand and is an energetic and innovative company. It will be my task to set up clear structures which are missing at present. I will introduce corporate governance in order to reach a financially positive airline operation.”
Gauss’s stint at Malev lasted from April 2009 to May 2011, during which time he led the simplification of the fleet from five types to two. Gauss began his aviation career as a pilot on 737s with British Airways subsidiary Deutsche BA in 1992; by 1995 he was working in the management of the airline. He was manager of the flight operations support department before he became chief for the ground operation department.
In 2002 Gauss was appointed director flight operations at Deutsche BA, in which capacity he was responsible for all flight crews and the whole operations department. In 2003 British Airways sold Deutsche BA to the Intro Group of Hans Rudolf Woehrl. The following year Gauss became joint managing director of Deutsche BA (dba) with responsibility for the relaunch of the airline, in which he also took a 10% stake. Under his leadership the company became profitable.
In 2006 dba was sold to airBerlin and Gauss maintained his position as managing director for one year to integrate dba into airBerlin. Following the integration Gauss left the company after 15 years.
In October 2007, Gauss joined the Cirrus Group and became CEO of Cirrus Airlines and managing director of the Cirrus Group. In this function he managed the centralisation of the headquarters to Munich. He completed this project in June 2008, after which he established his own company as consultants to the airline industry.
The executive board of airBaltic consists of three members. Two of the executive board members – chief operations officer Laila Odi?a and chief finance officer Vitolds Jakov?evs were elected by the Supervisory Board in early October, following the decision to inject €153 million of new capital into airBaltic, financed by its two main shareholders, the Latvian Government and Baltic Aviation Systems (BAS).