As CMD of Yamuna International Airport Private Limited, the Indian special purpose vehicle of Zurich Airport International, Daniel Bircher led his team to win a 40-year concession to build and operate the $700 million greenfield airport project in Jewar, Uttar Pradesh.
In his role as CEO of Zurich Airport International Asia since 2018, he has been screening airport investment opportunities in various Asian markets and has conducted numerous diligence projects in India and Southeast Asia.
Bircher, a social scientist and a commercial airline transport pilot, began his career with Swiss consultants EBP AG in 1996. He built and developed a client portfolio in public administration, public and private trusts, airlines, airports, railway companies and financial institutions. In 2006, he joined Zurich Airport as the head of safety and member of the Zurich Airport operations management where he was also responsible for liaisng with Swiss, European and other international regulatory bodies.
Bircher was appointed director, operations, Bangalore International Airport (India) Limited, in 2011, where he was accountable for the operations of the Bangalore international airport, which handled 33 million passengers in 2019. Bircher and his team successfully increased the airport service quality (ASQ) overall satisfaction score from 4.14 to 4.65, while he supported his team in winning the award for the most successful airline marketing team and various other awards for ICT innovation.
In 2015, he was appointed as chief operation officer at the Aeroporto International de Belo Horizonte in Brazil. In this role, he successfully started a new terminal, increased the ASQ satisfaction score from 3.7 to 4.7, and increased the number of directly served destinations from/to the Belo Horizonte International Airport from 37 to 42. Bircher’s work focused on substantially reducing operational costs and establishing state-of-the-art service level agreements with outsourced partners providing operational services.
Bircher holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Zurich and an Executive MBA from the University of St Gallen. He has been a long-standing member of the ACI World Safety Technical Standing Committee and chairman of the ACI World Operational Safety Subcommittee.
Bircher is an avid runner and enjoys classical music. His wife is an active school board member and business enabler for refugees. He has two sons who live in Malaysia and in the UK.