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Cyber attack on servers of the AHS Group
As other companies, AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH and its affiliated companies (hereinafter referred to as AHS) became victims of a criminal cyber attack in the early morning of April 17, 2022.
Information for those affected
Information for data subjects according to §34 General Data Protection Regulation
As already other companies before us, AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH, its business units and affiliates (hereinafter referred to as AHS) in the early morning hours of April 17th, 2022, became victim of a criminal cyber-attack. Internal IT- and communication structures were temporarily completely disabled, and subsequent usage was severely restricted.
Data on our servers was encrypted by means of a malware and therefore - for the time being - rendered useless. During the attack the hackers had access to internally processed data.
For the decryption of this data and for the restoration of the IT-infrastructure, the attackers demanded a material transfer fee with extortionate intent. For legal and ethical reasons this attempted extortion was deliberately not yielded to.
AHS filed a criminal complaint and has since been working closely with the competent authorities.
This incident of course triggered major concerns. Together with internal and external IT-forensics experts and other specialists we have been working very hard to comprehensively analyze this attack swiftly and to restore IT-infrastructure, while at the same time even better securing systems and data for the future.
What is known so far.
Under the targeted and very professionally executed cyber-attack the protection of personal data and confidential information was compromised despite contrary safety precautions.
To our current knowledge data subjects are persons, who will have / are having or have had an employment or contractual relationship with AHS.
As also HR- and several other internal user systems were affected by this safety breach, we must assume that the personal data conveyed by the above-mentioned data subjects could have been viewed and stolen by the attackers.
More detailed investigations are ongoing. We currently must assume that this unauthorized access especially concerns personal data within the following data categories:
- Employee data (e.g. personnel number, applications for access authorizations), contractual information (e.g. employment contract including supplements and changes, proof of employment, training and employment references), contact- and address data (e.g. identity card and passport, surname, name, salutation, address, maiden name, place of birth, date of birth, telephone number, mobile phone, email), bank account, social security data, special categories of personal data (e.g. identity card number, nationality, information on (severe) disability or sickness, confirmation on eligibility for vaccination, images e.g. pictures on identity card or pictures on curriculum vitae, qualification data (e.g. training certificates, school reports, curriculum vitae), ancestry data (e.g. birth certificate), communication data.
- As far as these specific data categories were shared within the scope of an application, a (former) employment or contractual cooperation, this data was earmarked and processed within the afflicted systems.
At the current stage of the incident investigation we can assume, that the data affected by the attack was neither manipulated nor erased. We do however have concrete clues that the stolen data has been made accessible and published in the so-called „Darknet“. All these questions will however be continually investigated and monitored by IT-security experts and law enforcement agencies.
What effects does this attack have?
These kinds of cyber-attacks endanger and complicate the work performed for and the services delivered by AHS to its airline customers and passengers. Although above all the data of active and former colleagues was affected, so also was the data of business partners.
The extent and the effects of this attack are not finally known. As stated before, the incident will continue to be investigated and the possible risks, as well as the effects on different situations and persons be assessed. A risk assessment for the effects on data subjects can however not be concretized as we currently have no clues on what purpose the attackers are planning to use the stolen data for.
What does AHS do?
For AHS the protection of information and especially personal data has the highest priority. Before the attack AHS therefore already took very high security precautions and complied with specific working procedures and regulations in handling this kind of – partially very personal – data. After the attack became evident, the affected systems were immediately shut down to prevent any further unauthorized access. A specialized IT-security company was contracted to investigate the attack and to support AHS in securing its systems even better against any such attacks in the future.
Because this cyber-attack does clearly represent a crime, a formal complaint was filed with the competent data protection agency, as well as with the state criminal police office.
What measures does AHS recommend?
Notwithstanding alle these measures, we cannot exclude that you might be affected and e.g., yourself become a victim of a cyber-attack, fraud, or stolen identity. Therefore, we would like to give you some tips on how to pro-actively perform damage control:
- Be aware of so-called phishing-attacks. Phishing-attacks are fraudulent messages, that come from what seems to be a serious source or from a known originator, e.g., like AHS. These kinds of messages for instance prompt the recipient to divulge personal data via phone or via a specially manipulated and untrustworthy website, with the goal to perpetrate criminal acts like identity theft, unauthorized access to accounts of the recipient or to install malware on his/her computer or mobile phone.
- Do not respond to any suspicious messages and never divulge any personal data in connection with unprompted e-mails that you might receive. When in doubt, contact the (apparent) sender via the contacts known to you to clarify if the information was indeed requested by a trustworthy originator.
- If you do receive a suspicious e-mail or text message that allegedly comes from AHS or that requests you to divulge personal data, immediately delete the message, and do not relay or share it. Always make sure that any message bares the correct logo and e-mail domain of the sender.
- Always be mindful in dealing with your personal data and sensitize your environment accordingly.
Where can you ger further information?
Should you have any questions, be in doubt, or have hints in this context, please do not hesitate to contact our data protection officer from AVIATICS Cost & Safety Management GmbH & Co. KG – Niederlassung Düsseldorf.
Additionally, you can submit your questions via our internal e-mail address: Datenschutzteam@ahs-aero.de
AHS sincerely regrets this incident and recommends a heightened alertness and awareness due to the current threat of cyber-attacks. We would like to again assure you, that the highest caution and data economy is maintained when dealing with any personal data.
Amélie Charisius Named New Spokeswoman for AHS Executive Management
01.10.2019 - Hamburg
Amélie Charisius has been chosen to be the spokeswoman for the executive management of AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH; her appointment will take effect per 1 October 2019. She succeeds Dr Martin Roll, who left the company at the end of September.
Amélie Charisius has been managing director of the AHS Group since October 2009. A fully qualified lawyer, she has been working for AHS since 2006.
“Amélie Charisius is an experienced manager with profound knowledge of the international aviation industry, and we are delighted to see her take charge of the leading position in our company,” said Dr Raoul Hille, chairman of the AHS shareholders’ meeting. “As she brings with her many years of experience in the AHS executive management, we are convinced that Amélie Charisius will effectively lead the company as one of the groundbreaking passenger handling service providers in Germany.”
As announced at the beginning of July, Stephanie Rohde has been a strong addition to the AHS management since 1 September 2019. She and Amélie Charisius form a strong leadership tandem oriented to the future.
New Leadership Tandem: Stephanie Rohde a Strong Addition to AHS Management
04.07.2019 - Hamburg
Stephanie Rohde (47) will be joining Amélie Charisius (42) as the new member of executive management at AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH effective per 1 September 2019. Stephanie Rohde succeeds Dr Martin Roll, who is leaving the company at the beginning of September. Amélie Charisius will assume the role of management spokeswoman.
The shareholders’ meeting at the beginning of July unanimously adopted a resolution appointing Stephanie Rohde to be the new AHS managing director. She and Amélie Charisius will together form a strong leadership tandem oriented to the future.
“The appointment of Stephanie Rohde secures for our operations an experienced manager with comprehensive commercial knowledge and many years of experience in the international aviation industry. We are convinced that these two managing directors will continue AHS’s successful development and position the company sustainably and innovatively as one of the leading passenger handling service providers in Germany,” said Dr Raoul Hille, chairman of the AHS shareholders’ meeting.
Stephanie Rohde is currently head of commercial aviation management at Hanover Airport. Previously, she was responsible for network management and marketing at Vantage Airport Group, a subsidiary of Vancouver Airport, Canada. Ms Rohde has had many years of experience in the aviation industry and, among other activities, has worked in sales and marketing for Lufthansa in Mexico City.
Amélie Charisius has been managing director of the AHS Group since October 2009. In future, she will add the role of spokeswoman to her present responsibilities. A fully qualified lawyer, she has been working for AHS since 2006.
“We would like to thank Dr Martin Roll for his extraordinary commitment to AHS. At the same time, we wish Mrs Rohde a great start and are looking forward to working with her very much,” added Amélie Charisius.
Ground handler AHS cooperates with security service provider ICTS
01.07.2019 - Hamburg
With effect from 1 July, the AHS Group has entered into a strategic partnership with the security service provider ICTS Deutschland GmbH. The aim of the Germany-wide cooperation is to jointly guarantee fast and convenient processes in passenger handling. This also includes the use of new technologies for passenger screening.
Through the cooperation with ICTS Deutschland GmbH, AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH is also able to operate in the security area of airports and thus offer an all-round handling service. To this end, AHS is expanding its existing expertise with new technologies for facial recognition of passengers and the capture of travel documents. AHS will thus be able to guarantee 100 percent verified travel documents in the future.
The expanded range of services also includes baggage controls for all airlines as well as access controls and special passenger surveys for flights to non-EU countries. In addition, both cooperation partners support each other with check-in and ticket service at the joint locations at the airports in Hamburg, Hanover, Berlin, Munich, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt am Main.
The cooperation will enable airlines to benefit in future from fixed service packages that include ground services, security services and passenger handling. "In ICTS, we have found the ideal partner to expand our portfolio for the security sector as an important component within passenger handling. Together with the aviation safety expert, we now offer our customers a comprehensive service from a single source," emphasizes Amélie Charisius, Managing Director of AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH.
Niko Papatrechas, Managing Director of ICTS Deutschland GmbH, adds: "The established business structures of AHS in Germany enable ICTS to offer our services uniformly to airlines throughout the country and to expand our services.”
Managing Director Dr Martin Roll Leaving AHS
24.06.2019 - Hamburg
Dr Martin Roll, Managing Director and Chairman of the Board, will be leaving AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH in September 2019. He will be taking his leave of the aviation industry to accept a new, prominent management position beginning 1 October 2019. A shareholders’ meeting at the beginning of July 2019 will make the necessary arrangements for the regulation of his succession.
During the nine years he has held this position, Dr Martin Roll, together with Amélie Charisius, Managing Director of AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH, has expanded the scope of activities at AHS to turn it into one of the largest passenger handling companies at German airports. Under his leadership, AHS has been able to establish important policies for the stabilisation and growth of the company as well as for future innovations. AHS will continue to follow this path in future as well and confront the challenges of the industry as a modern and successful company.
“The AHS shareholders’ meeting wishes to thank Dr Martin Roll for his highly successful cooperation over so many years. As he is an expert in the aviation industry, his contributions have been an enormous enrichment for AHS, and his motivational management style has been supportive of employees and customers alike. It is truly regrettable that he is leaving AHS. We wish him all the best for the future,” said Dr Raoul Hille, Chairman of the AHS Shareholders’ Meeting.
Dr Martin Roll was appointed Managing Director of AHS in 2010. He had previously been a member of the executive management at the airport Hanover-Langenhagen and had held various positions at Lufthansa Cargo, Deutsche Lufthansa in Frankfurt am Main and other companies. In addition, he has been a lecturer at the International University Bad Honnef since 2009 and was appointed honorary professor at that institution in 2015. In future, he will be CEO of a large service corporation that employs a workforce of more than 25,000.
AHS collaborates with AeroGround in Berlin
17.05.2018 - Berlin
The ground handling companies AHS BERLIN Aviation Handling Services GmbH and AeroGround Berlin GmbH have agreed on a long-term strategic cooperation at Berlin Airports. The two German companies are thus pursuing the common goal of creating synergies and strengthening their market position.
AHS is the market leader in Germany among the independent providers of passenger handling and operations services. At the Berlin location, AHS operates both at Tegel Airport and in Schoenefeld. AeroGround Berlin also holds the licenses for ground handling services at both airports, including the new Berlin-Brandenburg airport. AeroGround Berlin’s range of services focuses on land and airside aircraft and baggage handling. The companies operate in a dynamic market with low margins. In addition, they are under intense competitive pressure from global players.
“Our main focus is on cost optimization and joint sales activities. In addition, together with AeroGround we can now cover the entire range of ground handling services,” says Tays Breckerbohm, Managing Director of AHS BERLIN Aviation Handling Services GmbH.
Christian Stoschek, Managing Director of AeroGround Berlin, adds: “We are very pleased about the future steps with a successful and professional partner like AHS at our side. The synergy effects will strengthen our two companies in Berlin.”
AHS is back in Berlin Tegel
22.02.2018 - Berlin
On February 19, 2018 at 10:05 am, the first Germania aircraft with flight number ST4922 handled by AHS BERLIN, has taken off on time heading for the island of Fuerteventura. Since Monday, AHS Berlin is responsible for up to six Germania, Sun Express and Bulgaria Air flights per day. With the start of the summer timetable, the number increase to up to 14 daily flights. The service provider performes check-in, boarding, operations and ticketing for the mentioned airlines.
"After a three-year break, we can now offer our customers our complete service portfolio at Berlin-Tegel Airport again and are looking forward to welcome the Berlin passengers of our partner airlines," says Tays Breckerbohm, Managing Director of AHS BERLIN Aviation Handling Services GmbH.
"We are very happy about the return of AHS," says Kristin Büttner, Director Ground Operations of Germania Fluggesellschaft mbH. "For our new flights to 19 different destinations from Tegel we need a reliable partner like AHS at our side."
Looking at the higher demand for the summer timetable, interested people can still apply for a job in the areas of passage and operations. The company currently employs 135 people in Berlin, 65 of them at Tegel Airport.
Unannounced warning strike at Frankfurt airport
02.12.2017 - Frankfurt/Main
Frankfurt/Main, 2 December 2017 – Despite ongoing negotiations and without any prior announcement, the labour union Verdi has called for a warning strike early Saturday morning, which will last for several hours.
“In close cooperation with the worker’s union Verdi, we have jointly agreed on introducing a tariff based system at our Frankfurt station. This commitment already puts a high financial burden on our company. Nonetheless, during the latest negotiations talks, we have come forward with a proposal, which includes an almost 10 percent increase in wages within only two years. In these circumstances, we shall have no sympathy for any form of industrial action at the expense of the passengers in Frankfurt,” says an AHS spokesperson.
AHS is operating in a market that is characterized by low margins and high competitive pressure.
“The situation will not be solved by such actions at the expense of the passengers at Frankfurt airport, but by rational talks around the negotiation table. We have already shown our willingness to cooperate with social partners during the latest negotiation rounds. For the sake of the coming negotiation round, we therefore expect a more constructive behavior from Verdi,” says the spokesperson.
Roster management software wins innovation award
10.10.2017 - Hamburg / Munich
The staff rostering system APHIS has been awarded with this year’s inter airport Europe’s innovation award in the category interDATA. The system has been developed in close cooperation between the topsystem Systemhaus GmbH and the AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH.
Staff rostering is one of the most challenging tasks for service providers. Added to the numerous special requirements of the work environment at airports, traditional methods for staff rostering will soon reach their limits once a certain number of employees is surpassed.
For this reason, AHS and topsystem have cooperated closely to develop the staff rostering tool APHIS, short for Aviation Personnel Handling and Information System. The computer program stands out due to the integration of several components such as flight data as well as specific service requirements of single airlines. APHIS also allows for the quick integration of and response to unforeseeable events like sickness notifications or changes in flight schedules. Furthermore, the already integrated data may be utilized for accounting purposes directly from within the system.
El Al Award of Excellence 2016
13.04.2017 - Frankfurt
AHS Frankfurt has received the Award of Excellence 2016 from the Israeli state airline El Al. With this award, El Al recognizes above-average performance in flight handling at its global destination airports.
El Al has been handled by AHS since 2009 at the largest German airport. The criteria for the Award of Excellence include punctuality, service quality and friendliness of the employees.
The award was given personally by the El Al Frankfurt Station Manager Eric Herrman.
Norwegian starts in Dusseldorf
27.03.2017 - Dusseldorf
With beginning of the summer flight schedule 2017, Norwegian has introduced Dusseldorf as new destination in their flight program and has assigned AHS Düsseldorf with the handling.
The destinations of Norwegian from Dusseldorf are Barcelona, Tenerife (two times a week), Malaga (four times a week), Alicante (three times a week) and Palma de Mallorca (six times a week).
The sixth-largest low-fare airline operates its flights with Boeing 737.
Premiere with AHS: Somon Air
10.09.2016 - Frankfurt
AHS welcomes a new airline in its customer portfolio: The Tajik flagcarrier Somon Air. The privately run Somon Air is based in Dushanbe and connects the Tajik capital with Frankfurt Airport once a week.
On Saturdays flight SZ101 arrives at 6:20 am in Germany and leaves the Rhein-Main Airport on the same day at 17:25 pm back towards Tajikistan as SZ102.
Somon Air operates the nearly seven-hour flight with modern Boeing 737 aircrafts, which are equipped with two fare classes (economy and business class).
Welcome Singapore Airlines
22.07.2016 - Dusseldorf
AHS Dusseldorf is proud to welcome a new premium customer: From July 2016 Singapore Airlines flies non-stop from NRW's largest airport to Singapore. The Asian five-star airline connects Dusseldorf with its hub in Singapore three times a week.
The flights to Singapore Changi start in Dusseldorf on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 11.30 AM. Flight time is approximately thirteen hours.
On the new connection Singapore Airlines operates with the ultra modern Airbus A350-900 long-haul aircraft.
WOW air starts in Frankfurt
02.06.2016 - Frankfurt
On 02nd June 2016 the colorful Icelandic airline WOW air launched its new route between Reykjavik and Frankfurt with AHS as handling company.
The new route will be operated daily except Saturdays with modern Airbus 320/321 and WOW air will offer this new service also in the upcoming winter timetable.
AHS and ASF sign cooperation agreement
22.04.2016 - Hamburg/Friedrichshafen
ASF Airport Services Friedrichshafen GmbH, the largest local handling company for passenger services at Friedrichshafen Airport, is now a preferred partner of AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH. Both companies terminated this commitment with the signing of an appropriate agreement on 22nd April 2016.
The cooperation stipulates that ASF provides operational services within the AHS Groups´ marketing network while AHS will promote them in the worldwide market.
Together with its new partner ASF AHS provides comprehensive services for airlines in the German market. AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH is the leading provider of airline handling services in Germany.
Air France and KLM sign up with AHS Munich
01.03.2016 - Munich
On 1st March 2016, AHS Munich took over the handling of Air France and KLM. Both the Dutch and the French flag carrier connect Amsterdam and Paris up to five times a day with the Bavarian capital.
On the Paris route, Air France operates mainly with Airbus aircraft of the A320 family, while KLM serves the Amsterdam course with Fokker 70/100 or Boeing 737-700 / 800.
Köln Bonn Airport now shareholder of AHS
23.12.2015 - AHS Group
As of 1st January 2016 Köln Bonn Airport will hold a 10% share of AHS Aviation Handling Services GmbH Holding which is based in Hamburg. In addition Köln Bonn Airport will acquire / acquired a 49% share of the local AHS-station „AHS KÖLN Aviation Handling Services GmbH” from the AHS Holding.
In 2010 the Airport withdrew from the P&O sector. AHS successfully advanced in this sector at Cologne / Bonn as well as at several other locations. Michael Garvens, Chairman of the Management board of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH, sees a lot of benefits from this investment: “ Now we can offer our airlines an competitive all-round carefree package that also includes the P&O sector.”
Please download the entire news release:
Transavia expands in Munich
30.11.2015 - Munich
From March 2016, the Dutch low fare airline Transavia will considerably expand its schedule at our location in Munich and will offer 101 weekly flights to 18 destinations in Europe and North Africa.
Therefore Transavia will base four Boeing 737 aircraft including crews in Munich for the upcoming summer schedule. At the moment AHS München handles a daily Transavia flight to Paris-Orly. We congratulate Transavia on this extensive expansion in Bavaria and we are looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Condor opts for AHS Berlin
04.09.2015 - Berlin
Starting on 1st November, AHS Berlin welcomes its new customer Condor Flugdienst GmbH at Berlin Schoenefeld Airport.
The popular German holiday airline has been for many years among the top customers of the AHS Group and is already handled by AHS in Hamburg, Bremen, Hanover, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Munich.
From Berlin, Condor is heading primary to holiday destination around the Mediterranean and operates with Airbus A320.
Kuwait Airways new in Munich
16.07.2015 - Munich
AHS welcomes a new top customer in Munich, the traditional golf Airline Kuwait Airways.
The new flight from Kuwait City to Munich and back was taken into Kuwait Airways´ flight program this summer and AHS provides complete P&O services for the airline.
Flight KU173/174 operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with widebody Airbus A340-300 .
01.07.2015 - Dusseldorf
Since July 1st the longtime AHS customer Emirates operates its daily flight EK56 from Dusseldorf to Dubai with the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380.
For the first time within the Network AHS Dusseldorf takes over the scheduled handling of this truly gigantic aircraft. Although AHS already proved its A380-worhtiness back in September 29th 2011 when Emirates flight EK060 from Hamburg to Dubai was one-time operated with an A380 / Superjumbo instead of the regular Boeing 777.
Next to Frankfurt and Munich, Dusseldorf is the third destination in Germany which is operated by the Gulf airline with the A380.
Bem' vindo TAP
31.03.2015 - Hamburg
Starting on 1st March, our station in Hamburg welcomes our new customer TAP Portugal.
As biggest Portuguese Airline TAP is carrying more than 10 million Passengers per year, operating 88 destinations across 38 countries. Offering multiple routes to Brazil and Africa, TAP was voted "World’s Leading Airline to South America and Africa in 2014", again from the World Travel Awards.
From Hamburg, TAP is heading two times a day to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal and home base of TAP. The flight time is scheduled for two hours and 30 minutes.
Enter Air signs Handling Contract with AHS Group
01.02.2015 - AHS Group
Since 1st February, we welcome the Polish charter airline Enter Air as a new contract customer within the AHS Group.
The independent airline is based in Warsaw and operates from the Polish capital's Frederic Chopin Airport. Enter Air was founded in 2010 and flies from Warsaw and Katowice mainly to Mediterranean destinations.
Although the airline does not perform scheduled flights to Germany, Enter Air is a frequent and welcome guest at many AHS locations.
22.07.2014 - AHS Group
On 22nd July,welcomed the renowned Alpine region carrier SWISS International Airlines as the newest partner within the AHS network.
From AHS locations in Hamburg, Hannover, Dusseldorf and Cologne and as well from Stuttgart (S. Stuttgart Ground) the airline offers daily flights to its hub in Zurich.
For SWISS the AHS Group provides a full range of services, from check in / boarding through ticketing to Ramp Supervision / Operations and Lost & Found.
Servus Austrian Airlines
22.07.2014 - AHS Group
On 22nd July,welcomed the renowned Alpine region carrier Austrian Airlines as the newest partner within the AHS network.
From AHS locations in Hamburg, Hannover, Dusseldorf and Cologne and as well from Stuttgart (S. Stuttgart Ground) the airline offers daily flights to its hub in Vienna.
For Austrian Airlines the AHS Group provides a full range of services, from check in / boarding through ticketing to Ramp Supervision / Operations and Lost & Found.
Kon´nichiwa All Nippon Airways
25.02.2014 - Dusseldorf
From end of March 2014 the Japanese carrier ANA All Nippon Airways will introduce a new connection from Dusseldorf to the Japanese capital Tokyo in addition to the existing services from Frankfurt and Munich.
AHS Aviation Handling Services is delighted that our high quality service package has convinced this prestigious and well known Asian airline. On behalf of Lufthansa our station in Dusseldorf will be performing passenger handling, operations and lost & found services.
With the beginning of the summer schedule ANA will operate daily between Dusseldorf and Tokyo at 18.35, reaching the Japanese capital at 13.00 the following day. The return flight departs at 11.00 and reaches Dusseldorf at 16.00 on the same day.
ANA is the largest operator of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner worldwide and will operate the route with this brand new plane.
Germanwings goes AHS
25.03.2014 - Dusseldorf
With the beginning of summer season´s flight schedule on 30th March 2014 the AHS Dusseldorf took over the passenger handling for the Lufthansa subsidiary Germanwings.
In Dusseldorf the LH management plans to switch most of their inner european routes from Lufthansa to Germanwings and AHS starts the handling with 24 Destinations. And in the following weeks the number of destinations will grow up to 40.
With our new customer the AHS Dusseldorf experiences significant growth and we are looking forward to a successful cooperation with the latest LH group product.