Today, 21.10.2011, the Supervisory Board of Latvian national airline airBaltic has chosen
Martin Gauss as the new Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board as of November 1.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “I am very much looking forward to being part of the airBaltic team. The airline is a very strong brand and 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. ”
Martin Gauss is a professional with nearly 20 years of experience in the airline industry, working on the European Union aviation market. Between April 2009 and May 2011, Martin Gauss was the CEO of the Hungarian carrier Malev, an airline with 22 aircraft and more than three million passengers in 2010. There he reduced the fleet from 5 different aircraft types to two and established new structures.
Martin Gauss started his aviation career as a pilot on B737s 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 he was appointed Director Flight Operations, 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 next year Martin 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 the leadership of Martin Gauss the company became profitable. In 2006 dba was sold to AirBerlin and Martin Gauss maintained his position as Managing Director for one year to integrate dba into AirBerlin. Following the integration Martin Gauss left the company after 15 years. In its last year dba operated about 60,000 flights and carried around 4.5 million passengers. The dba fleet had a total of 28 aircraft. In October 2007 Martin Gauss joined the Cirrus Group and became CEO of Cirrus Airlines and Managing Director of the Cirrus Group. In this function he managed the centralization of the headquarters to Munich. He finished the project in June 2008, after he worked for his own company as a consultant for the airline industry.
Martin Gauss flies a Boeing 737 as a Captain and has recorded more than 8000 flying hours on Boeing 737s. He is 43 years old and has 3 children.
The executive board of airBaltic consists of three members. Two of the executive board members – Chief Operations Officer Laila Odiņa and Chief Finance Officer Vitolds Jakovļevs have been elected by the Supervisory Board already early October, following the decision to inject EUR 153 million in new capital for airBaltic financed by its two main shareholders, the Latvian government and Baltic Aviation Systems (BAS).
airBaltic serves over 60 destinations with direct flights from its home base in Riga, Latvia. From every one of these, airBaltic offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East.
AIR BALTIC CORPORATION (airBaltic) is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. The primary shareholders are the Latvian state, with 52.6% of stock, and SIA Baltijas aviācijas sistēmas, with 47.2% of stock. The airBaltic fleet consists of 34 aircraft – six Boeing 737-500, eight Boeing 737-300, two Boeing 757-200, ten Fokker 50 airplanes and eight Bombardier Q400Next Gen. airBaltic offers nonstop flights from three Baltic capital cities – Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn. airBaltic received the title of Airline of the Year 2009/2010 (Gold Award) from the European Regions Airline Association. airBaltic is the winner of Air Transport World Phoenix Award 2010 – a global recognition of excellence in restructuring business. In summer 2010, airBaltic was chosen for anna.aero ANNIES Award as Europe's largest flag carrier by new routes. airBaltic won a special Pacesetter Award 2010 from the Jury of the Budgies World Low Cost Airline Awards, recognising achievements of airBaltic as a hybrid airline.