Star Alliance announced that Theo Panagiotoulias had been chosen to become its next CEO.
The global airline alliance noted Panagiotoulias has more than 25 years of international experience in the airline and aviation industry.
He joins Star Alliance from Hawaiian Airlines, where he has been senior VP for Global Sales and Alliances since 2014.
Previously, Panagiotoulias was VP and GM (Asia Pacific) at travel technology provider Sabre Corporation, as well as a 15-year veteran of American Airlines, where he held several commercial, operational and management positions. His full biography is appended.
"On behalf of the board of Star Alliance, I would like to congratulate Theo for being named the next CEO of Star Alliance," said Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines and chairman of the Star Alliance chief executive board, noting that Panagiotoulias' international commercial and airline experience has given him a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the current airline industry.
"I am honoured that I’ve been chosen to lead the Star Alliance team and work directly with our 26 member carriers as we continue to innovate as the world’s leading airline alliance," Panagiotoulias said of his appointment, noting that "Star Alliance connects the world."
He added that more than 200 million customers fly with its 26 member airlines each year, on more than 16,000 flights each day.
Panagiotoulias will succeed Charlotta Wieland, who has been seconded from SAS — Scandinavian Airlines to serve as Star Alliance's interim CEO since January 2023.
With Panagiotoulias coming on board, Wieland will return to SAS and also rejoin Star Alliance's Alliance Management Board as the representative for SAS.
Panagiotoulias' appointment is expected to take effect within the coming months upon the completion of certain administrative processes and clearances.
"On behalf of Star Alliance and its member carriers, I would like to thank Charlotta for her service to Star Alliance as interim CEO and welcome her back to her seat on the Alliance Management Board," Kirby said.
Star Alliance has 26 member carriers. In 2022, the Alliance celebrated its 25th anniversary as the longest-running international airline alliance.