Winkelmann took over as CEO of Air Berlin PLC from 1 February, 2017, assuming full accountability for all group activities. He succeeded Stefan Pichler, who decided to leave the company after working for two years on the strategic turnaround of the group. From November 2015 to January 2017 Thomas Winkelmann was with Lufthansa and managed Lufthansa's southern hub in Munich. He was also responsible for Finances and Controlling at Lufthansa German Airlines. Before this, Thomas Winkelmann had been the Spokesman of the Executive Board of Germanwings GmbH since 2006.
Thomas Winkelmann (55) started his career at Lufthansa in 1998 and was assigned responsibility for North and South America at the airline's office in New York in 2000. In 2006, Winkelmann moved to Germanwings GmbH in the German city of Cologne as the Spokesman of the Executive Board, where he was responsible for strategy, communication and all of the company's commercial areas.
Under Winkelmann's management, Germanwings has established a successful position in the low-cost market over the past two years with a new fare concept and product range, a fresh brand identity and a strongly extended route network. The Lufthansa Group's "budget airline" was significantly expanded when it took over Lufthansa's direct "point-to-point" routes whilst simultaneously being successfully led to profitability by Winkelmann and his team.
Thomas Winkelmann was born in Hagen in 1959. He studied linguistics and ancient history at the Free University of Berlin and at the University of Munster and also completed studies in business administration at the Free University of Berlin. In 2004 Thomas Winkelmann successfully completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School in Boston.
During his career Thomas Winkelmann has held various management positions at Deutschen Reiseburo GmbH and Kaufhof AG. In 1998 he joined Lufthansa and held various senior management positions for Lufthansa in the USA. In his first role at Lufthansa, Winkelmann was area manager for Latin America and the Caribbean.
"I am delighted that we have been able to acquire two such successful and experienced airline managers for the important management tasks involved in our two largest hubs in the form of Klaus Froese and Thomas Winkelmann", explains Karl Ulrich Garnadt, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa German Airlines. "With the new team, we will continue to rapidly advance the reorientation of Lufthansa German Airlines."
"We are particularly pleased that, once again, we have been able to fill key executive positions with individuals from within our own ranks who have already acquired extensive experience with various business models and in various corporate areas within the Lufthansa Group,” says Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
In September 2000 Thomas Winkelmann was promoted to Vice President of the Americas and was responsible for the entire Lufthansa organisation in North and South America, with its headquarters in New York.
His job involved taking responsibility for all operational functions, sales, marketing and departments. With effect from 1st September 2006 the supervisory board of Eurowings AG appointed Thomas Winkelmann as a member of the board of Eurowings AG. At the same time he joined the management of the Eurowings subsidiary Germanwings GmbH as CEO.