People - Philippe Bruggisser

Philippe Bruggisser is a Special Advisor to Otus and an independent advisor and consultant on and to the aviation industry. Prior to establishing his own consultancy, Philippe worked for 22 years with Swissair, latterly as group chief executive. He is based in Zurich.
Philippe held various positions in finance within the Swissair group before taking responsibility for the airline-related activities of the group. In this capacity he was responsible for restructuring Swissotel and the development of airline catering (Gate Gourmet, world No.2), industrial catering, rail catering (Rail Gourmet), airport retailing (Nuance, world No. 2) and freight forwarding. He was responsible for the acquisition and integration of, among others, SAS Service Partner and MS McLeod.
In 1996 he became Chief Operating Officer of the group and transformed it from a traditional airline structure to that of a holding company with four divisions. This also involved the creation of separate companies for aircraft/engine maintenance (SR Technics), cargo, ground handling (Swissport), IT and real estate.
As chief executive of the airline, Swissair, he was responsible for an extensive restructuring programme, introducing the four wave system, integrating the long haul flights out of Geneva into the Zurich hub, launching a new business class product and implementing staff reduction programmes.
In 1997 he became chief executive of the group. He was responsible for expanding the airline-related activities organically and by the acquisitions of, and investments in, Dobbs, Alders, Dynair and Cargolux.
He founded and built up the Qualiflyer airline alliance which included various airlines in Europe and elsewhere, in which the group held several investments, including in Austrian Airlines, Sabena, AOM/Air Liberte, SAA and LOT. He was responsible for the formation of the Airline Management Partnership between Swissair and Sabena, then the closest form of cross-border co-operation between two independent airlines.
He implemented new inter-continental alliances with American Airlines (including anti-trust immunity), JAL, Cathay Pacific, SAA, Malaysian Airlines and Thai Airways.
As chief executive he was responsible for management of the crisis following the crash of a Swissair MD-11 in Halifax, Canada.
He was a member of the boards of Crossair, Cargolux, SAA, LOT, Volare, Sabena, Credit Suisse Group, and RUAG.
Philippe has a Masters in Economics from the University of Basel and studied in Economics and Law and the University of Geneva. He holds the rank of Lt Col in the Swiss Army.

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