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
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.