Over 110 want VIA top jobs

A large number of people has signalised interest in two high-profile aviation industry positions, it was reported today (Tues).Flughafen Wien AG (FW) announced that “more than 110” businesspeople handed in their applications for the two vacant executive board positions. The company – which manages Austria’s biggest airport, Vienna International Airport (VIA, VIE) – explained it was unclear whether the new board will be in charge for two or five years. The new co-chiefs are due to take over from interim head Christoph Herbst. The former FH supervisory board boss is expected to leave the company.FW vehemently denied that applicants’ political connections will play a role. Observers are questioning this claim since the provincial governments of Vienna and Lower Austria are the major stakeholders in FW with 20 per cent each.One of the few names of applicants for the board positions that leaked in advance of the end of the application period next month is former Green Party leader Madeleine Petrovic. The politician said she felt “ready to take responsibility” at the airport which is located south of Vienna. However, FW is understood to prefer managers with experience in the international aviation business.FW is quoted on the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG). The company achieved a net profit of 19.8 million Euros in the first three months of this year, up by 4.8 per cent compared to the same time span of 2010. Its turnover improved by 6.9 per cent.FW is interested in constructing another runway, an endeavour people living nearby are trying to stop. VIA recorded nearly 1.73 million passengers last month.The firm’s links to leading politicians have been critically observed by business newspapers due to immense cost overruns of the Skylink project. The terminal will be put into operation next year. Planners initially wanted to complete the assignment ahead of the European Football Championship co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland in summer 2008.Austrian Airlines (AUA) co-chief Andreas Bierwirth said last November “certain aspects” of the airport were “abysmal.” The businessman claimed travellers from the Arab region were offended by posters at VIA’s arrival area making aware of brothels in Vienna.He also hit out at FW about overflowing rubbish containers.”We need VIA to reach the quality standard of Zurich and Munich,” Bierwirth said.Around 51 per cent of all flights at VIA are operated by AUA which was taken over by Germany’s Lufthansa Group in 2009.