Lufthansa Group low-cost subsidiary Eurowings and Aviation Services CEO Thorsten Dirks took over the position May 1, succeeding Karl Ulrich Garnadt, who retired April 30. Dirks was appointed as CEO in December 2016 and given a three-year contract.

Dirks, who has held a wide variety of positions in the telecommunications sector, has been CEO of Telefonica Germany since 2014.

In a statement, Dirks said his first priority is to further develop Eurowings and set new trends, especially in digitalization.

Lufthansa established Eurowings as a pan-European LCC platform, which is expected to grow to 100 aircraft as competition from LCCs—such UK’s easyJet, Ireland’s Ryanair and Spain’s Vueling—increases to a 50% market share in Europe.

Kurt Hofmann,