December 7, 2016 / 9:47 AM / a year ago

Lufthansa names telecoms exec to oversee Eurowings expansion

BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) named Thorsten Dirks, the chief executive of Telefonica Deutschland (O2Dn.DE), to its management board to lead the expansion of budget unit Eurowings, which is rapidly building its presence in Europe thanks to recent deals.

A Lufthansa logo is pictured during a pilots strike of the German airline at Frankfurt airport, Germany, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Dirks replaces long-time Lufthansa manager Karl Ulrich Garnadt, who is retiring because he is turning 60 in January.

    Eurowings is Lufthansa’s answer to regain market share lost to low-cost rivals such as Ryanair (RYA.I) and easyJet (EZJ.L).

    Its aim to become Europe’s third largest point-to-point carrier will be reached ahead of time should it successfully complete planned deals to lease up to 40 planes and their crew from ailing rival Air Berlin and take over Brussels Airlines.

    Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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