April 15, 2020, Dr. Max Kownatzki officially takes over the management of SunExpress. Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa joint venture SunExpress has a strong position in tourism and ethnic traffic between Germany and Turkey and is one of Europe’s most popular leisure airlines.
“I am very proud to be part of SunExpress and its dedicated team” said Kownatzki and added: “Despite the harsh conditions in the entire aviation industry caused by the pandemic, we will take SunExpress further on its journey of success and strengthen its position as a leading carrier in the leisure airline market. I am convinced that SunExpress has a strong position in the market with 30 years of aviation experience, will overcome this crisis and we will soon continue its success story together.”
Kownatzki added: “Since the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak SunExpress took all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of its passengers and crews, and immediately implemented all decisions by national and international authorities to minimize both its effects and spreading. SunExpress continues to carry those affected by flight restrictions to their homes with rescue flights. SunExpress, which has been creating an air bridge between Turkey and Europe for 30 years, will continue to bring its passengers to their dream vocations and reunite them with their loved ones. The company will continue to increase its contribution to Turkish tourism and the economy.”
Regarding the effects of the Covid-19 crisis on the aviation sector, Kownatzki said: “The Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the whole world, has caused us to change our daily lives, along with individual and public measures. The impact of this on society as well as on the economy has been significant. One of the areas most affected by this situation is the aviation sector. But we believe the aviation industry will survive this crisis and even emerge from it stronger.”
About Max Kownatzki
Max Kownatzki (47) has extensive experience in the airline industry, with a particular focus on strategic and commercial areas. He began his career in 2002 with the strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman in New York and Munich, where he held various executive positions until 2013 and consulted clients from the aviation industry. In 2013, he joined the management of the Australian Jetstar Group, a subsidiary of Qantas, as Chief Strategy Officer. In 2015, he joined Lufthansa, where he initially worked as Chief Commercial Officer at Eurowings Europe and in the Wings Project, where he focused on the establishment and development of Eurowings low-cost subsidiary the company. Subsequently, as Senior Vice President, he headed Business Development at Eurowings. In the past three years at the Lufthansa Group, he was responsible for network planning and strategic alliances of the hub airlines Lufthansa, Brussels, Swiss and Austrian Airlines.
Kownatzki studied business administration St. Gallen, Switzerland, and subsequently obtained his doctorate. He has both German and American citizenships and holds a commercial pilot license.
Kownatzki is married and has two kids.