“Klaus’s solid track record of excellence in airline operations, his proven leadership abilities along with his experience in the low cost/low fare environment will further strengthen our executive team,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
Goersch, who is also a pilot, has more than 25 years of experience in the airline industry. He was mostly recently in charge of the merger of operations of AirTran, which flies out of Buffalo, with Southwest Airlines, which acquired the smaller airline in 2011.
He replaces Duncan Dee, who held the post of COO. Dee also had the responsibility of government relations, but that part of his job went to Derek Vanstone, who was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s deputy chief of staff.
In the end, three contracts were settled through final contract arbitration including one in July with the airline’s 3,000 pilots. That deal now paves the way for the airline to start a low-cost carrier, which company officials have repeatedly said is critical to the airline’s success.
Air Canada said its low-cost carrier, which can use up to 50 planes, will be owned 100 per cent by the airline but operated separately. It will gradually ramp up service to destinations in Europe, the United States and the Caribbean, targeting vacation travellers.
“The operations side of many airlines is very complex, and to run a low-cost carrier is even more complex,” D’Cruz said. “Every little aspect of operations counts. You need people with deep experience.”