Swiss International Air Lines’ chief financial officer Markus Binkert will leave the company at the end of May.

The Zurich-based carrier said on 19 February that Binkert, who has spent almost two decades at the firm, the past four years of which as CFO, will take on the role of chief executive at gastronomy and hotel management company SV Group.

Swiss has launched a search for his successor, the company adds.

Swiss Airbus-c-Swiss

Swiss’ chief financial officer will leave the company in May

“Our company has a lot to thank Markus Binkert for,” says chief executive Dieter Vranckx. “In the numerous key positions that he has held over the years, Markus has consistently contributed to Swiss’s success – in good times and in tougher ones such as the pandemic years.

“As a vital member of our management board, Markus has been instrumental in helping to ensure that our airline stands on the firm financial foundation that it has today, debt-free and well positioned to meet and master the challenges ahead,” Vranckx adds.

Binkert joined Swiss as head of global key accounts and business sales Switzerland in 2005 and moved through the product, marketing and distribution ranks before being appointed to the company’s management board as chief commercial officer in 2013.

In 2016 he took on additional overall responsibility for pricing, revenue management and distribution for Lufthansa Group. A stint as Lufthansa’s chief commercial officer for its hub in Munich as well as group-wide responsibility for marketing followed. He returned to Swiss in March 2020 take on the CFO role. As such, he was also responsible for negotiating, concluding and utilising the government-backed bridge loans during the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

Last December, Swiss said it had brought the last of 25 aircraft it had grounded during the pandemic back into commercial service. The 25-year-old Airbus A320 had been parked in Amman, Jordan since April 2020.