Erfurt, 25 June 2021 - One of the first degree programmes at IU International University of Applied Sciences is celebrating its birthday: Aviation Management. As the first university in Germany, IU International University of Applied Sciences has been offering Bachelor's and Master's degrees in "Aviation Management" since 2001. For its 20th anniversary, IU International University of Applied Sciences celebrated on the campus in Bad Honnef as well as virtually with guests from the fields of study, teaching, business and politics. The retrospective begins with a crisis: the degree programme started shortly before the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001. Even today, during the pandemic and in search of more sustainability, the air transport industry is in a state of upheaval.

For the head of the Transport & Logistics Department, Prof. Dr. Arne Schulke, the economy will soon be back to its old level: "Crises are nothing new for aviation. Our programme started in a crisis phase and survived the financial crisis. Even if the COVID-19 pandemic is now plunging the industry into the most severe crisis, it will also recover from it. In three years at the latest, it will be at the level of 2019. People want to see the world, crises will not change that."

In his welcoming address, Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa, affirms: "We are pleased about the close relationship between Lufthansa and the IU International University of Applied Sciences. We are proud to have the best employees in the industry, and the university is part of this success. In the years to come, we will continue to need highly qualified professionals with a great passion for aviation."

IU International University of Applied Sciences has a long-standing partnership with Lufthansa: More than 100 graduates of the university work for the company today, which means one in ten. The students come from all over the world, the language of instruction is English. The career prospects remain good, asserts Prof. Schulke: "From 2024/25, the cost-saving targets for the aviation industry will become more restrictive. Then the industry will need good people for the green transformation. Those who start studying Aviation Management now will have very good job opportunities afterwards, whether in the industry or in politics."

Wolfgang Tiefensee, Thuringia's Minister of Economics and Science, was also present for a welcoming speech. Since 2019, the IU International University of Applied Sciences has been based in the state capital Erfurt. Tiefensee: "The Aviation Management degree programme looks back on a long and successful history. But the industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Now we are opening a new chapter: As future experts, today's aviation management students will hopefully take us to completely new heights."

Johan Vanneste, Chairman of the Executive Board of Cologne/Bonn Airport, Dr Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO Austrian Airlines, Dr Jürgen Michels, Chief Economist BayernLB, and virologist Prof. Dr Jörg Timm from the University Hospital Düsseldorf took part in a panel discussion on the challenges and future of the aviation industry.

Airports want to regain the trust of passengers with hygiene measures and are increasingly relying on digital solutions such as contactless check-in in the future. Investments in new technologies should not make flying more expensive, but more climate-friendly. The aim is to avoid emissions, for example through electrical energy, not to compensate for them. "Flying has a bad reputation, but it also has good sides: It connects people, cultures and economic areas. It distributes wealth and contributes to peace in the world," says Alexis von Hoensbroech.