Amsterdam, 6 April 2011 - SkyTeam has appointed Michael Wisbrun as its new Managing Director, replacing Marie-Joseph Malé effective 1 June 2011. As head of the management team, based in the central office in Amsterdam, Michael Wisbrun will be responsible for implementing the future strategic plan as set forth by the SkyTeam Governing Board.
Among the priorities outlined in the strategic plan are continued efforts to expand the SkyTeam network and enrich the alliance proposition with new customer-centered products and services.
Commenting on the new appointment, SkyTeam Chairman Leo van Wijk said: "Michael Wisbrun is a very experienced executive in the airline industry who has shown strong leadership and vision with a solid track record of delivering solutions to complex projects. He was instrumental in developing the KLM Northwest Joint Venture, the blueprint of which is still considered to be the most developed alliance in the world and is the basis of the current transatlantic Joint Venture among Delta, Air France, KLM and Alitalia."
Marie-Joseph Malé, the first Managing Director of SkyTeam who set up the central office in 2009, has decided not to extend his contract with SkyTeam for personal reasons. Governing Board members have expressed their appreciation for the work he has done in establishing an effective organization. Leo van Wijk: "Marie-Joseph Malé has been pivotal in the development of SkyTeam, most notably the tremendous growth of its membership to 19 airlines in just two years. Throughout his leadership, he has set the foundation for the strategic plan that will be executed by the new management."
Alongside Michael Wisbrun's appointment, SkyTeam is also announcing a position of deputy Managing Director and the appointment of Mr. Su Liang to this role effective 1 June 2011. Van Wijk continued: "As we continue to grow our global presence, we have decided to strengthen our leadership team to support the Managing Director position. Su Liang is a senior executive from China Southern. His broad perspective on the emerging Asia Pacific markets will further reaffirm SkyTeam's growing presence in the region and help in solidifying SkyTeam's #1 position in the greater China region."
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Michael Wisbrun joins SkyTeam from KLM, bringing with him far-reaching and relevant experience. He is currently Executive Vice President KLM Cargo, Chairman of the Air France-KLM Cargo Joint Management Committee and member of the Air France-KLM Group Executive Committee. He joined KLM in 1978 after receiving his master's degree in engineering from the Technical University in Delft. Mr. Wisbrun's 30+ year-long career with the Dutch airline has spanned multiple departments such as Cargo, Corporate Strategy & Planning and Business Systems, where he was responsible for Network Development, Fleet Planning and Schedule Coordination respectively.
Su Liang joins SkyTeam from China Southern Airlines, where he is currently the Chief Economist, working with the airline's leadership in planning and asset management. He received his master's degree in engineering from Cranfield University. He joined the airline in 1990 after 16 years of experience in the Flight Operations department of the former CAAC Guangzhou Administration. He has held positions in such departments as Flight Operations, Engineering and Cargo. As company Secretary of the Board, he was instrumental in China Southern's entrance to SkyTeam and matters surrounding the China Southern – Air France-KLM Cargo Joint Venture.
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive global network with more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers over 420 lounges worldwide. The thirteen members are: Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Kenya Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers its 385 million annual passengers a worldwide system of over 12,500 daily flights to 898 destinations in 169 countries. www.skyteam.com