Jens Ritter, currently Chief Operating Officer (COO) and part of the extended Management Board of Austrian Airlines, will join the management of Eurowings as Chief Operating Officer on 1 April 2021. He succeeds Michael Knitter, who will leave the German airline at the end of March at his own request. Together with Jens Bischof, CEO and Spokesman of the Management Board, and Frank Bauer, Head of Finance, Human Resources and IT, Jens Ritter will form a three-member Eurowings Management Board from now on.
"We are deeply indebted to Michael Knitter," said Christina Foerster, Chairwoman of the Eurowings Supervisory Board. "For more than five years Michael Knitter has been standing for flying excellence, continuity and consistency in times of great change at Eurowings. Knitter has set up the flight operations organisation in recent years in such a way that Eurowings is now regularly one of the most punctual airlines in Europe.
Jens Ritter (47) already has valuable experience as COO of the Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines. Christina Foerster: "I’m convinced that Jens Ritter is the right successor to enrich the operations of Eurowings with his own ideas and develop them further in a highly dynamic environment".
Jens Ritter (47) started his flying career in 2000 with Lufthansa after studying aerospace in Munich and training as an Airbus A320 pilot at the Bremen Commercial Aviation School. In 2008, he switched to the Airbus A330/340 as a long-haul pilot, and in 2014 he trained at Germanwings to become a captain on the Airbus A320. Jens Ritter assumed his first management position in 2005 as team leader for the project 'A380 Onboard IT'. Later he held various management positions and was co-responsible for the introduction of the paperless cockpit at Lufthansa. From 2011 Ritter worked in the area of Flight Operations and Fuel Efficiency at Lufthansa. In 2014 he took over as Head of Operations Efficiency and Strategy at Lufthansa Passage. At the same time, he is also in charge of the Lufthansa Group project to standardize Group-wide flight operations processes.
Since February 2016, Jens Ritter has been Accountable Manager for the operational business of Austrian Airlines, responsible for Flight Operations, Safety and Security, Planning and Control, Training, Technology and Ground Operations. As Chief Operating Officer (COO), he has been part of the extended Management Board of the Austrian airline since February 2020. Since 2018, Ritter has also been responsible for the digitisation of the entire Lufthansa Group flight operations as Process Owner. Jens Ritter is married and father of three children.