Mark Schwab New Star Alliance CEO

Hot off the press, Star Alliance has named a replacement for departing CEO Jaan Albrecht. Mark Schwab, former Senior Vice President of Alliances at United Airlines, will continue his close work with Star Alliance, now as the head of the company.

Here's the press release:

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – December 14th, 2011 -The Chief Executive Board of Star Alliance has appointed Mark Schwab to head the Star Alliance central organisation, based in Frankfurt, Germany as its new Chief Executive.

Schwab comes from Star Alliance member United where he was responsible for the company’s alliances as Senior Vice President Alliances. In this capacity he also served as a member of Star Alliance’s Management Board. He succeeds Jaan Albrecht, who was appointed as CEO of Austrian Airlines on November 1st, 2011.

“With Mark Schwab we have secured an internationally renowned airline executive, who has all the qualifications required to lead our alliance into the next chapter of its success story,” said Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive of Air New Zealand and Chairman of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board.

“This appointment follows a worldwide search resulting in the comfortable situation of having several high calibre candidates to choose from. Mark convinced us with his vast industry know-how and his tremendous international experience. Having served our business in several executive positions across the globe gives him that specific background that we need for this challenging position”.

Mark Schwab held numerous executive positions in the airline industry at United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines. He began his aviation career in 1975 with Pan American World Airways in Rio de Janeiro.

As a global citizen he spent most of his career outside his home country, the United States of America. Schwab headed organisations in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Being fluent in Portuguese and in Spanish language he holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American affairs from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Mark Schwab is married and has two daughters.

The Star Alliance Services GmbH, based in Frankfurt, Germany, serves as the central organisation of the world’s most experienced airline alliance. It coordinates the projects and activities of its 28 member airlines, aiming at improving the seamless service experience for its international customers when travelling on any of their more than 21.000 daily flights as well as achieving synergies beyond the members’ individual capabilities on a global scale.

A headshot of Mark Schwab is available here This photograph is free for use in your publications. If you require attribution you may refer to an official photograph supplied by Star Alliance.

I will have more thoughts on this later, though I will say that I have worked with Mr. Schwab this year and happy to see him onboard--he is well-spoken, engaging, friendly, and intelligent.  I am quite sad that I will be leaving Europe as Schwab arrives in Frankfurt tomorrow.

Mark Schwab CEO Star Alliance United Airlines


I had the pleasure to work with Mark when he was stationed in Maracaibo, Venezuela as a station Manager. Mark is one of the best executives that I have seen in the airline industry, straight forward and practical on his decision was his way of doing things. I am glad to see him rise and wouldn't be surprised if he gets to become CEO of a large airline like United.

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