Hermann Hausmann - former Head of Marketing and Communications
Interview with a contemporary witness

From when to when did you work for Delvag? 

I joined the Delvag Group on July 9, 1985. I initially worked for Delvag and then moved to Albatros. In May 2023, the passive part of my partial retirement ended with my retirement. 


How did you come to Delvag and what vocational training have you done?

It was more of a coincidence that I applied to Delvag. I was looking for a temporary job and spoke to the HR manager in Cologne on the phone. Basically, I started here as a working student, as I was still studying to be a teacher in three subjects in the final phase. However, as there were no trainee teacher positions at the time, I started as a relocation coordinator and room planner at Delvag to bridge the gap.

Hermann Hausmann

As a room planner? Where did you learn that?

Before my studies, I was in a staff position in the Bundeswehr where the barracks were being redesigned. The technical draughtsman sat in the room next to me and introduced me to room planning and ergonomics. I brought that with me to Delvag and that's how I ended up being tasked with planning the rooms when we relocated.


And how did you end up in communications?

When my predecessor in Communications left - at the time there was only one position in Communications, Press, PR and Purchasing (the entire Delvag Group only had around 87 employees at the time), my former manager asked me if I would like to take over. The move was over and he had noticed that I was very good at communicating. That was a great opportunity for me. I was able to do my communications degree at a Lufthansa evening training program.
After five years, I would also have had the opportunity to get a job in my first profession as a teacher, but the many opportunities in the Delvag Group kept me there. 


How has the work in the Delvag Group's communications department changed over the years?

As the number of Albatros service centers increased over the years, so did the tasks in communications and therefore the team. Accompanying this process in communications was very exciting. At that time, we still had a large newspaper for employees in the Lufthansa Group - the legendary “Lufthanseat” - for which we repeatedly contributed editorial articles about the Delvag Group and later placed weekly advertisements.  

Basically, we were a small agency and did everything ourselves. Later, when Delvag's aviation and transportation divisions grew enormously, we also had to provide more intensive communications support for them. As a result, the challenges and tasks we faced increased and our team grew with them.


What did you do in your last few years at the Delvag Group? 

In the end, I was initially team leader of the communications department at Delvag and then moved to what is now „Albatros Financial Solutions“ for health reasons, where I became a Senior Expert in sales support. I felt very comfortable in the small team and the trusting cooperation helped me a lot to get through this not so easy time.


What was special about your job and the Delvag Group as an employer?

The special thing and also the reason why I was motivated from the first to the last day and went to work with a big smile was the fascination that we are part of an important task in and for the Lufthansa Group and, among other things, provide the best possible insurance cover for the companies and employees. Being a captive is something special. When I told others that I work for Lufthansa's insurance company, many were initially confused as to what an insurance company has to do with the Group. But when I then explained the idea behind it, they were always fascinated by all the things we insure. 

There was also always a tremendous team spirit in all areas of the Delvag Group. We were like one big family. 
And of course it was something special, this feeling that we were doing something good for Lufthansa. Whenever I was out and about in working groups within the Lufthansa Group, for example in the pensions area, there was always a constructive atmosphere and our ideas were always welcomed. 
This team spirit, the huge innovative power thanks to short decision-making processes, the fact that everything was always in motion - all this was always motivating. Just like the fascination for flying, of course.


What were the most challenging situations during your time at Delvag?

The most challenging situation for everyone at Delvag, but also for me personally as a communicator, was unfortunately not a pleasant one, because that was 9/11. We were sitting on the 13th floor of the former Lufthansa headquarters. Within a few hours there was a crisis team. Those were long days, sometimes people slept under the tables. It really was an extreme situation. But of course our work was also greatly appreciated and brought us closer together. We supported the entire process with communication and worked closely with the government and the Ministry of Transport to create an emergency insurance program within a few days. 

Another, this time positive, experience that I particularly remember was the introduction of the first pension schemes in the Lufthansa Group at the beginning of the 1990s. Within a few years, we managed to convince a large number of employees in the Group of the product‘s benefits. That was exciting in terms of communication because the topic of retirement provision itself was not as publicised back then as it is today. Together with the Chief Human Resources Officer, we regularly published special pages in “Lufthanseat” to raise awareness. The success of this communication work has made us very satisfied and proud.


How has your day-to-day work changed over time? 

The development into the group of companies that Delvag is today has been formative: the first subsidiary Albatros was founded in 1980, followed by the reinsurer (Delvag Rück) in 1985. Within Albatros, the employee broker became so large that it eventually became Albatros Financial Solutions. The development of insurance products (pension provision, the growth of the fleet sector, innovations in the transportation sector and much more) have also shaped our day-to-day work. In terms of communication, we have kept up with everything that has happened. And of course there have also been media changes over the years.


Can you explain in more detail how the communications area has developed during your years here? 

In addition to the increasing number of editorial contributions and advertisements, we also produced product sheets for the various insurance companies of Delvag and Albatros Financial Solutions. Producing the annual reports was always a major effort, which we coordinated together with the various departments involved without external agencies. 
With the advent of the Internet, our work took on a whole new dimension. We used the Lufthansa Group's intranet as a basis for communicating with our customers in the Group, the employees. Over the years, this grew into a large online platform with all the trimmings.


Anything else you would like to wish Delvag on its anniversary?

The special idea of a captive has initiated and enabled many important topics over the last 100 years. I hope that the Delvag Group will continue to be recognized by the quality of its work and expertise in the future.

Thank you Hermann for your time and the interview.


The interview was held by Tamara Gmelin, Corporate Communications.