Austrian Airlines 777-200. By Rob Finlayson

Austrian Airlines (OS) chief commercial officer (CCO) Andreas Bierwirth resigned Friday and will be replaced by Karsten Benz, Lufthansa (LH) Passage VP-European sales and services, effective April 1. According to an OS management source, Bierwirth resigned because of a lack of support from the LH management and a difference of opinion on the airline’s restructure.

“Karsten Benz is one of the most experienced top managers we have in the Lufthansa Group in the field of sales and network management. With this recommendation, we are sending a clear signal that we will be continuing to work with everything we have on the long-term perspectives of Austrian,” said Group airline chief officer Stefan Lauer. The supervisory board steering committee will propose the change at its next meeting.

OS is in the middle of a difficult restructuring process. The work program it first presented in January is a package of measures designed to save the company €220 million ($280 million) this year (ATW Daily News, Jan. 11). “But if high fuel prices will increase and the Air Berlin group continues to expand in Vienna, then these measures will be not enough for OS,” the source told ATW.