airberlin CEO and marathon man Stefan Pichler set to dominate Airport Runway Run

The airberlin CEO is in pole position to win “The Fastest Airline CEO In The World” in the Runway Run, which takes place on the airport’s runway 13R-31L at 11.00 on Saturday 5 September 2015. Stefan Pichler’s message to staff on arriving at airberlin in February this year sounded just like an athletics coach: “We need mutual trust, teamwork, commitment, responsibility and energy at every level.”

airberlin CEO, Stefan Pichler, once came third in the Frankfurt Marathon with a time of 2:16, but gave up the chance of global athletic fame to embark on a dazzling career in the boardrooms of the world’s airlines. Prior to his arrival at airberlin in February this year, this has seen him occupy the role of CCO at Lufthansa and later Virgin Blue, the Chairmanship of V-Australia, and the CEO positions of Thomas Cook, Jazeera Airways, and recently Fiji Airways.

Is there any prize left? Well yes, it seems this most prolific of airline CEOs still has another title he wants to win: an Airport Golden Cake Trophy for “The Fastest Airline CEO In The World” in the Budapest Runway Run on 5 September 2015.

Click here to sign up for the bud:runway run

Admittedly Pichler’s marathon personal best in Frankfurt was recorded way back in 1982, when he was just 25, while his 10km record of 32:46 was recorded even earlier, in 1979. “I am 58 now, I can maybe only do a 10k in 48 minutes and that’s too slow,” Pichler told in a not entirely convincing complaining tone.

For those of you who need a benchmark of just how fast the airberlin CEO could be on the Budapest runway, bear in mind that Pichler’s fastest marathon time is just 13 minutes behind the world record of 2:02:57 set by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto, appropriately enough at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. For additional comparison the CCO of Budapest Airport, Kam Jandu, achieved a career-best of 4 hours 25 in last year’s New York Marathon – just inside twice the length of time Pichler took to do his record marathon. So, er, well done Kam!

Air Berlin Stefan Pichler

Left: 1982 – Pichler storms to third place in the Frankfurt Marathon. Right: 2015 – the new boss of airberlin has since shaved his head to improve his chances of winning “The Fastest Airline CEO In The World” in September’s Airport Runway Run.

In the Budapest Runway Run Pichler’s current challenger for the “Fastest CEO” prize is Stephen Kavanagh, the CEO of Aer Lingus, who is captain of the current holders of “The Fastest Airline In The World” team title. However, with an aggregated 10km individual time of 1.20, Kavanagh is unlikely to snatch “Fastest CEO” and, indeed, he may even cross the line up to 32 minutes behind his airberlin rival – enough time for a younger Pichler to have run the whole race all over again.

The Airport Runway Run takes place on the airport’s runway 13R-31L at 11.00 on Saturday 5 September 2015. On this day Budapest Airport will closes one of its two runways for four hours so runners drawn from airlines, airports and enterprises across the aviation community can once again compete for a series of Airport “Golden Cake Trophies”, including the key team prize of the “The Fastest Airline in the World.”

There are two race distances – 10km (four runway lengths) and 5km. Runners can take part on an individual basis, or form teams of three or more (only the fastest three runners’ times count towards the team times).

All BUD Runway Run entry fees – just €30 before July 2015 and €50 thereafter – are entirely donated to international child cancer causes and a Hungarian charity assisting the inclusiveness of handicapped people in sports. Besides nine air transport industry trophies every finisher receives “The Bron’s Medal” named for Brontë “Bron” Hogan, the publisher’s 12-year-old daughter, who passed away in 2011 after a five-year battle with leukaemia.

The Airport “Golden Cake Trophies” are awarded for:

  • Fastest male/female
  • Fastest Airline Team: “The Fastest Airline in the World”
  • Fastest Airline CEO: male/female
  • Fastest Airport CEO: male/female
  • Fastest Airport Team: “The Fastest Airport in the World”
  • Media: “Fastest Aviation Media Team”
  • Concessionaires: “Fastest Airport Concessionaire Team”
  • Enterprises: “Fastest Aviation Enterprises Team”
  • Military: “Fastest Military Aviator Prize”
  • Finisher’s Medal: The Bron’s Medal (plus souvenir technical shirt, and gift bag for every entrant)

Click here to sign up for the bud:runway run

Budapest Airport Runway Run

609 runners from the world air transport community participated in the 2014 Budapest Airport Runway Run (“The Race to Find The Fastest Airline In The World”). and Budapest Airport are targeting 1,000 entrants of all abilities in 2015.


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