Assaia, the leader in AI-enabled turnaround management, has today announced the appointment of Christiaan Hen as its new CEO, taking over from Max Diez, who is becoming Chairman of the Board.

Zurich, 11 January 2024Assaia, the leader in AI-enabled turnaround management, has today announced the appointment of Christiaan Hen as its new CEO, taking over from Max Diez, who is becoming Chairman of the Board.

Assaia's revolutionary turnaround optimization technology has transformed operations for airports, airlines, and ground operators worldwide in the five years since it was launched. Through its pioneering work, Assaia has established turnaround optimization as a new groundbreaking category in the aviation industry, despite the very challenging times for the sector.

Christiaan has an impressive background in the aviation sector. His professional trajectory took flight at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, where he worked on developing and managing airport capacity. After managing terminal operations for several years, he went on to become Head of Innovation for the Schiphol Group. His decade-long role in airport operations, development, and innovation set him up for his next position as Chief Customer Officer at Assaia International and now CEO.

Max Diez said, “We know around 80% of airlines and airports will buy turnaround optimization technology in the next few years. This is now a well-defined and well-recognized category. And Assaia is the category leader. Christiaan exemplifies the ethos of our technology being built by operators for operators. His knowledge, experience and outstanding work ethic make him the right person to lead Assaia during its next phase, maintaining our continuity, momentum, culture and customer trust.”

Assaia uses AI to reduce turnaround times and improve on-time performance, which in turn improves the passenger experience and enhances airport capacity. It does so by enabling real-time responses to increase gate availability and ensuring safety on the ramp. In addition, by focusing on taxi time reduction and auxiliary power unit usage limitation, airports and airlines can use the resulting data to make significant strides in their sustainability goals.

Max Diez, Chairman  and Christiaan Hen, CEO at customer Alaska Airlines headquarters in Seattle

Christiaan said, “Max has put Assaia in an incredibly strong position, we aim to build on our recent successes, including more than doubling our customer base in 2023. Last year, Southwest Airlines, Berlin-Brandenburg Airport and Fraport, among others, started managing and optimizing their turnaround processes using our technology. We're on track for continued growth in 2024, and this transition is geared towards maintaining that momentum with a keen focus on what matters most – our customers.

“And we have the backing and expertise of our Strategic Partner Community behind us, to make sure we continue to deliver exactly what the industry needs. I feel very privileged to be taking over at a time when everything is in place for strong growth.”


The use of Assaia's TurnaroundControl has provided our Airline Partners, Ground Handlers, and Service Providers with full visibility of the aircraft turn processes. The data, predictability, and visibility enhances our collective efficiency and resilience at Toronto Pearson. Paired with our A-CDM initiative, Assaia's TurnaroundControl provides crucial data driving A-CDM processes, a reduction in turn times, and a noticeable increase in on-time performance.

Dean Wright
Associate Director, Gating & Airport Flow

The way Turnaround 2.0 uses AI and machine learning to boost our zone controllers' efficiency is remarkable. They can now manage multiple gate activities with more focus on handling exceptions, rather than multitasking. Turnaround 2.0 is more than a tool for the present; it's a foundation for 'United Next,' growing with us and helping us surpass our operational goals efficiently.

Daniel Reed
Director of Station Operations, United Airlines

Our focus is to use innovation to make our operations smoother. We have selected Assaia because of the capabilities of the tool. But it is also really important for us that it has a good record of successful implementation, so we know it will deliver for us, for our airlines and ultimately for our passengers.

Dr Babett Stapel
Managing Director, Fraport Slovenjia

We are optimizing all our processes on the apron to shorten the time each aircraft needs to be on the ground, which benefits both our passengers and our airline partners. This is a common issue across our airports and we are talking to all of them about this technology.

Claus Grunow
VP of Corporate Strategy and Digitalization at Fraport

We are pleased to partner with Assaia to implement the ApronAI Turnaround Control solution at T4. This new solution will not only optimize operations and our work with our business partners, but will also help us to ensure a first-class customer experience at T4.

Roel Huinink
President and CEO, JFKIAT

For most airports, the apron is a a black box. Assaia finally gives our ground staff full insight into every turnaround. This allows them to focus on what really matters, while simultaneously making the work environment safer.

Jason Aspelund
Former Manager Strategic Performance, Alaska Airlines

The real-time and historical insights that can inform both airport and airline operations make this solution a clear winner for everyone.

Craig Paul
Director of Technology & Innovation , Halifax Stanfield International

Assaia's product allows airports and airlines to collect, track, and analyze data in real time; this innovation removes inefficiencies and optimizes performance.

Jim Lockheed
JetBlue Ventures

We’re creating the airport of the future, and innovation in apron operations will directly improve the passenger experience. We are laser focused on innovations that will make Pearson and its whole apron ecosystem more efficient while reducing our carbon footprint.

Deborah Flint
President and CEO GTAA

SEA needed an innovative solution to our capacity problem and have worked with Assaia to optimize the turnaround process resulting in reduced taxi times and increased passenger satisfaction. Assaia has exceeded our expectations, consistently delivering on-time & on-budget.

Samer Tirhi
Airline Scheduling Coordinator, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

With the help of Predicted Off Block Time from Assaia. JFKIAT Operations can be proactive to reduce or eliminate any delays and gate holds

Stephen Tukavkin
VP IT & Digital, JFKIAT

We are proud to be partnering with the Assaia team in our mission to use technology to improve the efficiency and safety of the airport environment.

Raghbir S. Pattar
Director of Airports Transformation, IAG

I had mentioned before, great innovation on your part. With these types of improvements, T4 is always leading at JFK. Thank you

COPA Station Manager

We’re working hard on becoming an airport of the future, and this involves rethinking every part of our ground operations. Assaia’s ApronAI is an integral component of our vision for the ramp of the future.

Abhi Chacko
Head of Innovation & Commercial IT Services, Gatwick Airport

Assaia’s technology adds critical data points to CVG’s early-stage neural network for operational advancements. Structured data generated by artificial intelligence will provide information to make decisions, optimize airside processes, and improve efficiency and safety.

Brian Cobb
CIO, CVG Airport


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