Members of the Group Airlines Management Board

Christoph Debus

Chief Airlines Officer Thomas Cook Group, Managing Director Thomas Cook Airlines UK

Christoph Debus joined Thomas Cook Group plc in 2012 as Group Head, Air Travel and Managing Director, Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd. Prior to this he was Chief Commercial and Chief Operational Officer at Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG - 2009 to 2011. From 2005 to 2009 he was Managing Director and CFO of Condor Flugdienst.

His career began as a consultant at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, latterly as Partner.

Ralf Teckentrup

Chief Commercial Officer Thomas Cook Group Airlines, Managing Director Condor Flugdienst and Board Member Thomas Cook GmbH

Ralf Teckentrup is Chief Commercial Officer at Thomas Cook Group Airlines, Managing Director of Condor Flugdienst GmbH and Board Member of Thomas Cook GmbH (formerly Thomas Cook AG).

His career began at the Group Organisation of Deutsche Lufthansa in 1986 with reorganisation projects and cost cutting programs. In 1994 Ralf Teckentrup was nominated Head of Group Organisation and in 1996 Head of Marketing and Sales. From 1997 to 1998 he was a board member and responsible for controlling and administration and for network management and marketing in 1998 - 2003. Following a restructuring in 2003 he took over the responsiblitity for network management, IT, infrastructure airports and procurement at Lufthansa Passage.

Ralf Teckentrup joined Condor in 2004, and was nominated as a board member for Thomas Cook GmbH on 1 January 2004.

Outside of Thomas Cook, Teckentrup is member of the board at Sixt AG, the advisory Board of Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), Bundesverband der Deutschen Tourismuswirtschaft (BTW) and president of the Bundesverband der Deutschen Fluggesellschaften e.V. (BDF).

Uwe Balser

Director Group Airlines Cabin Services

Uwe Balser is Director of Group Airlines Cabin Services. He joined Condor in 2005 as Postholder Ground OPS and stations of Condor and became Managing Director for Condor in 2008. In this position he was also responsible for Condor Maintenance. Before starting at Condor and Thomas Cook, he worked at Lufthansa where he also held several positions. His last position was Area/Stationsmanager Middle East, Dubai.

Dr. Ulrich Johannwille

Financial Director Thomas Cook Group Airlines, Managing Director Condor Flugdienst

Ulrich Johannwille is the Financial Director of Group Airlines and Managing Director at Condor Flugdienst. He joined Condor in 2006 as Head of Controlling. Since 2009 his role is Managing Director for Finance, Controlling and IT. He started his career in 2000 at McKinsey as a Associate Principal.

Christian Schmitt

Director Group Airlines Aircraft & Ground Operations, Accountable and Managing Director Condor Flugdienst


Christian Schmitt joined Condor as Head of Ground Operations in 2009 and in 2013 took over the function as Director of Group Airlines Ground Operations for Thomas Cook Group Airlines. In May 2015 he assumed responsibility for Group Airlines Aircraft Operations and became Accountable and Managing Director at Condor Flugdienst in September 2017.

He started his career in 1997 at Deutsche Lufthansa AG and subsequently acted in various functions as a project and operations manager. Later he was heading the introduction of the A380 at Lufthansa´s international airports network.

Outside of Thomas Cook Group Airlines, Christian Schmitt is involved voluntarily in the "Deutschlandstiftung Integration" which supports students with a migration background with scholarships.

Per Knudsen

Managing Director Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia


Per Knudsen is member of GAMB and Managing Director, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia A/S since March 2016. Prior to this role he worked for Thomas Cook Northern Europe as Group CFO.

In 2003 Per Knudsen finished an Executive MBA and was until 2013 responsible for the development of strategy and businessmodel for Thomas Cook Northern Europe. 

Per's career in the airline industry began in 1996, when he was first assigned to LSG (Scandinavian Leisure Group), which was then the owner of several Nordic tour operators and the airline at the time.

Paul Hutchings

Director Group Airlines Flight Operations


Paul Hutchings is Director Group Airlines Flight Operations and is also responsible for Group Airlines Crew Planning. Paul Hutchings qualified as an airline pilot in 1988 and worked for a number of airlines prior to holding various senior management roles in the British Airways Group. He joined Thomas Cook in 2008 as Chief Pilot of Thomas Cook Airlines UK before becoming Director Flight Operations and Postholder Flight Operations in 2012.

Geir Steiro

Group Airlines Maintenance Director

Geir Steiro is the Maintenance Director for Group Airlines and a member of the GAMB since September 2016. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA and responsible for the company’s 737 operation. Before joining Norwegian Air Shuttle as Technical Director in 2013, Geir was Senior Vice President Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain at Aker Solutions Subsea AS (oil industry) and held several leading positions at Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) including Senior Vice President Technical Operations and Nominated Postholder Continuing Airworthiness. Geir Steiro has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a certified aircraft mechanic.

Julie Armstrong

Human Resources Director Thomas Cook Group Airlines

Julie Armstrong is Director of HR at Group Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines UK. Earlier Julie held the role of HR Director at Manchester Airport from 2005 to 2012. She also undertook the role of Customer Services Director.



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