Austrian Airlines announces merger of its Corporate Communications and International & Aeropolitical Affairs divisions

  • Sophie Matkovits appointed as Head of Corporate Communications, Public Affairs & Corporate Responsibility
  • Walter Reimann will assume the position of Board Advisor Public Affairs and Lufthansa Group Traffic Rights Coordinator
  • Tanja Gruber, Interim Head of Corporate Communications, will leave the company at her own request
  • Merger of departments designed to generate synergies

Vienna, Austria, 2021-Feb-25 — /Travel PR News/ — Austrian Airlines will implement the previously announced merger of its Corporate Communications and International & Aeropolitical Affairs divisions effective April 1, 2021. This step is designed to more strongly leverage synergies and thus be better positioned to handle current and future challenges. The communications and political affairs expert Sophie Matkovits (29) will assume the position of Head of the new “Corporate Communications, Public Affairs & Corporate Responsibility” business unit.

Ms. Matkovits will join Austrian Airlines from the mobility club ÖAMTC, where she has been responsible for public relations over the last three years. Her professional career also included several jobs in politics. She worked in the Federal Ministry of the Interior and at the Austrian Embassy in Berlin, amongst other positions she held. In her new capacity, she will report directly to Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech as well as to Andreas Bartels, Head of Communications within Lufthansa Group and to Kay Lindemann, Head of Corporate International Relations.

“Thanks to her broad-based experience, Sophie Matkovits will contribute precisely the specialized know-how and networking to our communications and political affairs efforts which is required by the newly created business unit”, states Austrian Airlines CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech, commenting on the latest addition to the Austrian Airlines staff. “I am convinced that she will succeed in strongly positioning the new organization and look forward to welcoming her to Austrian Airlines.”

In addition to serving as Head of International & Aeropolitical Affairs, Walter Reimann (60) also coordinated the negotiations for traffic rights in recent years on behalf of all airlines belonging to the Lufthansa Group. In the future, he will be in charge of the professional management of all issues relating to traffic rights of the Lufthansa Group in addition to his local obligations in Vienna as Board Advisor Public Affairs.

“I would like to sincerely thank Walter Reimann for his extraordinary commitment in the field of International & Aeropolitical Affairs over the past years. I look forward to continuing my cooperation with him within the new organization”, says Austrian Airlines CEO von Hoensbroech.

Tanja Gruber (31), who has been part of the Austrian Airlines communications team for the last six and a half years, and who recently served as the Interim Head of Corporate Communications for a six-month period after the departure of Peter Thier, has decided to leave Austrian Airlines. In the future she will pursue a new career opportunity outside of the Lufthansa Group. While working for Austrian Airlines, Ms. Gruber particularly focused on pressing ahead with the digitalization and modernization of corporate communications and developing new communications channels.

“Naturally, it pains me very much to lose a communications specialist and absolutely a top talent such as Tanja Gruber from our own ranks”, CEO von Hoensbroech adds in commenting on the personnel change. “In the last year she displayed a special instinct and tact, especially when it comes to crisis communications, and very effectively maneuvered us through the difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic on the basis of extensive internal and external communications. We sincerely wish Tanja Gruber all the best for her future professional endeavours”, von Hoensbroech concludes.

Sophie Matkovits studied law while working. After gaining initial professional experience as a student employee for a law firm, Ms. Matkovits was employed by the Press and Public Information Section of the Austrian Embassy in Washington. She began working as a personal assistant at the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior in 2015, where she was also later involved in the Communications Competence Center. At the end of 2016, the Burgenland-born manager accepted a position at the Austrian Embassy in Berlin, where she was in charge of communications activities in her capacity as Head of the Press Office. Sophie Matkovits joined ÖAMTC at the beginning of 2018, where she has been responsible for all press relations work until now in her role as Head of Public Relations. In 2019, the specialist magazine “Der Österreichische Journalist” named her the “Corporate Spokesperson of the Year”.

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