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Austrian CEO won’t extend contract

Vagn Soerensen, 45, whose current contract as Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Airlines AG runs until the end of September 2006, will not be extending his contract for a period extending beyond that date.

Explaining the exclusively private reasons for his decision, Vagn Soerensen made the following statement: ‘For the past twenty years, my career has required that I spend all my time outside Denmark, where I was born and spent my youth. Extending the term of my contract of employment would mean that my family and I would be unable to return to Denmark for another four to five years. After careful consideration, therefore, I have decided that we should move back to my home country.’

Mr Soerensen went on to say: ‘To ensure that there is sufficient time for my position to be properly advertised and filled, and that the necessary stability can be guaranteed throughout this process, I have already informed our Supervisory Board of my decision not to renew my contract. I have always enjoyed working for the Austrian Airlines Group in Austria, and continue to do so. I shall of course offer my total commitment for the remaining eleven months of my contract. I shall reach a decision concerning my own professional future in the course of the coming year. I am proud that, despite the turbulent external trends that have dominated the industry in recent years, the dedicated team at the Austrian Airlines Group has managed to create a clear and successful market position by consistently implementing its Focus East strategy. By looking self-confidently to the future, maintaining a strong commitment to our customers and continuing to build on our team-driven qualities, our airline can and will develop a profile for itself as an international company of which Austria can be justly proud. The Austrian Airlines Group has the potential to become the most successful European airline operating services to the East today.’