News - Benjamin Smith Appointed as Air France-KLM CEO


Air Canada’s Benjamin Smith wins Air France-KLM CEO role

The Aviation industry is set for new things as Benjamin Smith has been appointed as chief executive of Air France-KLM by the group. Serving previously as the president airlines and chief operating officer in Air Canada, Smith played a major role in the economic and commercial development, transformation, value creation and engagement of the teams in the Airline.

Benjamin Smith is expected to assume his role at Air France-KLM on or before the 3oth of September 2018. However, in the meantime, the Airline will be run by the interim governance structure which has been since <ay 15, 2018. Anne-Marie Couderc, non-executive Chairman of the Air France-KLM will continue to perform her duties alongside Air France's Boards, and the Management Committee consisting of three members till Smith assumes office.

On his arrival as chief executive at Air France-KLM, Smith will take over executive management of the Group and will set up its organizational structure. Air France-KLMN in a statement confirmed that Smith's major task will be to revitalize Air France and to deliver a new strategic impulse and drive to the Group. he is also expected to work on a leadership approach with all teams in Air France-KLM.

Below are statements from Anne-Marrie Couderc and Benjamin Smith over the new development;

“The arrival of Benjamin Smith is excellent news for the Group. Benjamin is a world-renowned leader in the airline sector who successfully transformed Air Canada. As a man who prefers dialogue, he developed and implemented the historical long-term win-win agreements with the airline’s social partners for the benefit of Air Canada’s teams, the airline and all other stakeholders. Benjamin Smith will bring his in-depth knowledge of the sector and his unique energy to the job to resume dialogue with Air France-KLM teams around a shared vision and to define a new go-to-market plan that will address the challenges of strong global competition. His on-the-ground experience will ensure a team-oriented approach to increase customer satisfaction and brands value. On behalf of the Board, I welcome and assure him of our total support for the task ahead. The Board also wishes to thank the three members of the Management Committee for their unfailing dedication during this complex transition period.” - Anne-Marie Couderc.

“I am very enthusiastic about this new opportunity. Air France and KLM are both airlines well known for the professionalism and commitment of their teams. I am well aware of the competitive challenges the Air France-KLM Group is currently facing and I am convinced that the airlines’ teams have all the strengths to succeed in the global airline market. I am confident in the Group’s capacity to become one of the world’s leading players. I look forward to earning the trust and respect of all teams, working together to win in this highly competitive and fast-changing customer service industry. I am approaching this new challenge with my passion for the aviation sector and with my deep willingness to listen to all stakeholders, so we can work together and win. I have spent my entire career in this industry and I am convinced that the teams of the Air France-KLM Group are its strongest assets for its future success. I believe that over the past two decades I have developed very strong trust-based relations with my colleagues at Air Canada and I am looking forward to meeting the teams at Air France-KLM in September to begin working alongside them. I thank the Board of Directors of Air France-KLM to entrust me with this mandate” - Benjamin Smith

We all look forward to a great time for Benjamin Smith as Chief Executive of Air France-KLM.



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