Canadian Benjamin Smith was appointed as the new CEO of Air France-KLM - the first time in its 85 year long existence that a French man is not at the head of the French-Dutch airline combination. Smith is currently the chief operating officer of Air Canada. He will take office at Air France-KLM on September 30th at the latest, NOS reports.
In April airline Air France-KLM transported fewer passengers than in the same month last year, due to strikes at Air France. The French-Dutch airline transported 6.9 million passengers in April, 2.5 percent less than the over 7 million passengers transported in April 2017, RTL Nieuws reports.
At KLM the number of passengers increased by over 5 percent. But that was not enough to compensate for the nearly 9 percent decrease at Air France.
KLM's independence will not be compromised by the new strategy for Air France-KLM that CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac is presenting early next month, Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem of Finance assured parliament after several dais of intensive discussions with the CEO, NOS reports.
Like for many of its competitors, the second quarter was somewhat hard on Air France-KLM. The French-Dutch airline saw its turnover drop by 5 percent, though still managed to get a profit below the line. Continuing strong competition and the threat of terrorism was the main pressure points for the airline group's income, they group announced on Wednesday
There was never a plan to move flights from KLM to Air France in an effort to restore balance between the two sister companies, CEO Alexandre de Juniac said to the Financieele Dagblad.
Air France-KLM may give in to the French pilots' demand that the capacity growth within the airline cooperation be shared "more evenly", ANP reports. This would be detrimental to KLM, which is currently growing while Air France is shrinking, but new CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac is prepared to consider the demand.
KLM CEO Pieter Elbers is concerned that the strike Air France pilots have planned for Saturday, one day after the start of the European Championships in France, will lead to reputation damage that will also effect the Dutch airline. In a message to the KLM staff, he called it a "destructive strike"