A reception in honour of Kristian Kirchheiner, former President and Jens Helmü Larsen, newly appointed President of airBaltic was held on June 28, at the Radisson SAS Daugava Hotel
Mr. Gorbunovs, Minister of Transportation had come to bid farewell to Kristian Kirchheiner and wish good luck for the future to the new President and CEO of airBaltic.
Bert Flick, Chairman of the airBaltic Supervisory Board noted in his speech, “I would like to express my thanks to Kristian Kirchheiner for the great contribution he has made to the development of airBaltic. I am confident that Jens Helmü Larsen is the right person to face all the challenges that the future holds for airBaltic.”
Former President Kristian Kirchheiner has enjoyed his time in Latvia both personally and business wise, he acknowledged, “I would like to thank the employees of airBaltic for making the company a success. They are the ones who deserve the credit, since they are the ones who face our customers every day. They are airBaltic!”
Jens Helm¿ Larsen said, “During Kristian`s time as President & CEO, airBaltic has seen a whole range of improvements both on the cost and revenue sides as well as in our service to customers. Kristian has personally played a big part in the positive development of airBaltic. Last year, Kristian and all the employees deservedly received the fruits of their hard labour, when airBaltic won the Latvian Quality Award and achieved the first positive operating result in our short history. On behalf of all the employees in airBaltic I wish Kristian all the best in his new position and we all have no doubt that Kristian will also achieve success amongst the `STARS` - in his management position in the alliance.
In my new role, I am taking over the airline at a time when I have a good platform to build on. After our efficiency program last year we have reduced our costs to a competitive level, we have implemented the right strategy to generate more revenue, and, last but not least, according to our passenger surveys we are on the right track concerning our service and quality levels.
In addition, together with SAS and Lufthansa, we have established a brand new cargo terminal to serve Latvian import and export companies.
In the future we will continue along the same lines by improving the profitability of airBaltic by developing the company even further. As well as building the core business, we will try to find new business areas to give us additional strengths.”
June 14, the shareholders of Latvia`s national airline airBaltic Corporation announced the appointment of Jens Helmü Larsen as the President and Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.
Mr. Larsen (53) is Danish, married, and has 3 children. He has a Masters degree in Economics from the Copenhagen Business School.
Mr. Larsen has worked in the SAS Group since 1975 in various managerial positions at the head office and has been stationed abroad in Vienna, Madrid, Athens and Zurich. His position before coming to Latvia was head of all domestic SAS routes in Denmark, including the routes between Denmark and Greenland.
Since October 1999, Mr. Larsen has been a member of airBaltic`s Executive Management as Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Ground Operations.
Jens Helmü Larsen is currently a Member of the Boards of the Baltic Cargo Centre and Greenland Air.
Commencing May, 2001 Kristian Kirchheiner has joined the Board of Directors in the world’s biggest airline alliance Star Alliance. He has worked in airBaltic since 1997 as Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Ground Operations, in August1999 Kristian Kirchheiner was nominated President and CEO.