FRANKFURT: One of the world’s five largest airlines, Germany’s
Lufthansa, has appointed Kohtes and Klewes’ (K&K) managing partner
Gabriele Velte as its global communications director.
Velte will join the airline in 1999 at its Frankfurt headquarters,
replacing Josef Grendel, who retires at the end of 1998.
Velte joined K&K, Germany’s largest full service PR agency, in 1995 to
set up its Frankfurt office with managing partner Ulrike Kuhn. The
office now employs 20 people.
Before joining K&K, Velte was deputy managing director of the Frankfurt
office of Swiss agency Trimedia. She is a corporate and financial
communications specialist and her clients include the German stock
exchange, Deutsche Borse, tyre manufacturer Dunlop and GE Plastics, a
division of US conglomerate General Electric.
Lufthansa is gearing up for an increasingly competitive European
aviation market, following its privatisation in 1997. At the airline,
Velte will report to board of management chairman Jurgen Weber and
oversee a staff of around 35 communications professionals based in
Frankfurt and across Europe, the Americas and Asia.
The airline reviewed its worldwide PR agencies last year. This spring it
appointed Fleishman-Hillard to handle its PR in Asia. In addition it has
retained 11 agencies in Europe, the Americas and Asia, and is looking
for agencies on the US West Coast, South America, Middle East and the
In 1996 the Airline formed the Star Alliance, a schedule and passenger
sharing agreement, with United Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Air
Canada, Brazil’s Varig, and Thai Airways.