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Avianca Holdings S.A. Announces Adrian Neuhauser as President and CEO

An Avianca 787 Dreamliner coming in to land. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Avianca Holdings S.A. reported in a press release that Adrian Neuhauser was appointed President and CEO of the carrier last April 28, effective immediately. Neuhauser succeeds Anko van der Werff, who resigned on the same day from his position in the Colombian airline, to assume a new position as CEO of a company in Europe and be closer to his family.

To ensure a smooth transition, Van der Werff was appointed as a member of Avianca’s Board of Directors today, a position he will hold from now on, and in turn, will be an advisor to Avianca until mid-June.

Neuhauser joined Avianca in 2019 as Financial Vice President and most recently served as Corporate Executive Vice President, with direct leadership over the Chief Operating Officer, the Legal Vice President and General Counsel, the Purchasing Vice President and the Architecture Directorate. Neuhauser has also overseen the Company’s corporate restructuring process.

He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector with a focus on investment banking, as well as extensive experience working with transportation companies, including airlines, railways, and heavy vehicle companies. Prior to joining Avianca, Neuhauser was Managing Director of Credit Suisse covering airlines throughout the Americas. Previously, he held senior positions at Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, as well as Merrill Lynch, where he was responsible for M&A transactions and capital markets in Chile and the Andean Region. Neuhauser has a degree in Economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

“Adrian has in-depth knowledge of Avianca, a proven track record in overseeing the Company’s corporate restructuring, and more than two decades of experience in the financial industry and working with transportation companies, all of which make him uniquely qualified to lead Avianca at this crucial time.

On behalf of the Board and key stakeholders, we are confident in Avianca’s journey forward with Adrián at the forefront, and we look forward to seeing the Company reach new levels of success under his leadership”, stated Roberto Kriete, President of the Board of Directors of Avianca.

Adrian Neuhauser stated: “I am honored to lead this incredible company and very excited to be working together with the rest of the Avianca team as we continue to meet the travel needs of our valued customers. I have every confidence that our Company is doing well positioned to exit the corporate restructuring process and remain a highly competitive and successful airline in the Americas. Anko has been a leader and a strong partner, I wish him well. At the same time, I look forward to working closely with the Board and management team as we honor the 100-year legacy and execute our new vision – “Changing Together” – to position Avianca for the future”.

Likewise, Anko van der Werff stated: “It has been a great privilege to lead Avianca in the last two years. With the resumption of travel as COVID vaccines are implemented, significant progress has been made in our corporate restructuring and in In this regard, we are at a logical juncture to usher in a new leader who will guide the airline in its next steps. I am truly grateful for the way everyone at Avianca came together as a team to navigate the effects of the pandemic, which has been the most difficult time in the history of the industry.

“I am proud of the long-term labor agreements and relationships established with our pilots and other groups of employees, as well as the work done to improve our financial performance and ensure that Avianca has the right fleet to meet future business needs. I will miss working alongside our team every day, but I have taken the personal decision to return with my family to Europe. Adrian has made a great contribution since joining Avianca and his ideas and experience will be critical to the sustainability of the Company. I look forward to continuing to support Avianca as a member of the Board,” he stated.

Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio


  • Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio

    The three things Juan loves most about aviation are aircraft, airports, and traveling thousands of miles in just a few hours. What he enjoys the most about aviation is that it is easier and cheaper to travel around the world and this gives you the opportunity to visit places you thought were too far away. He has traveled to different destinations in North, Central, South America and Asia. Born, raised and still living in Perú, Juan is a lawyer, soccer lover, foodie, passionate traveler, dog lover, millennial and curious by nature.

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