• Franz Josef Kirschfink from Lufthansa Technik to take over as new “chief pilot” at the Aviation Cluster Hamburg Metropolitan Region from 1 January, 2014

Hamburg, Germany | September 24, 2013– The “Hamburg Aviation” cluster is bringing Franz Josef Kirschfink (58) from Lufthansa Technik on board as new Managing Director. The new Managing Director, with a doctorate in physics, will lead the association’s office from next year, taking over the controls from Walter Birkhan, who is leaving to retire. Franz Josef Kirschfink has held various leadership positions with Lufthansa Technik AG, where he is currently Director of Technology Projects.

“Franz Josef Kirschfink is a proven aviation expert with a profound understanding of the aviation industry and aviation research. This makes him the ideal person to manage Hamburg Aviation, an organisation that was honoured as a Leading-Edge Cluster by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2008,” says Bernhard Conrad, President of Hamburg Aviation. Kirschfink is also already very involved with the network, serving for example as a member of the Management Board.

Hamburg Aviation is an agile industry network, a public-private partnership with more than 90 members from the aviation industry, research, academic teaching and training institutions, and representatives of the government of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Together, the partners want to bring more innovations to fruition, secure wide-ranging education and training for the next generation of specialists, and promote the attractiveness of the world’s third-largest civil aviation location. This will secure the competitiveness – and therefore the future viability – of this industry in the metropolitan region.

“I can see a great deal of potential that can still be exploited,” says Franz Josef Kirschfink with conviction. The 58-year-old Doctor of Science, a Belgian citizen, is married and the father of two grown children. Kirschfink studied physics at the RWTH University in Aachen during the 1970s, completed his doctorate in the field of particle physics, and then in 1989 began his career at Lufthansa. He held a range of positions in the field of materials management and logistics at Lufthansa until 1995, when he took on the reorganisation of Lufthansa Technik’s engine overhaul services and led the Service Center, after which he spent three years in Rome as Chief Operating Officer at the Lufthansa Technik subsidiary, Alitalia Maintenance Systems. Since 2009, he has been Director of Technology Projects at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg.