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Air France-Klm CEO: "It's necessary an aviation professionist"

This was said by Élisabeth Borne, transport minister of France

By July it must be named a successor of the resigned CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac

A declaration, made this morning by French Transport Minister Élisabeth Borne at the microphones of "Radio Classique", which is an authentic cold shower for Philippe Capron -businessman and Chief Financial Ifficer of the transnational service company, Veolia - and for whom until now supported him in his candidacy for the position of CEO of Air France-Klm, vacant after the resigned of the former CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac, in the last 4 of May, in line with his commitment and after the refusal by referendum of salary agreement proposed by him for company personnel.

The resigning CEO is provisionally replaced by Anne-Marie Couderc, non-executive chairman of the named company appointed on May 15 together with a management triumvirate; Couderc also directs the nomination committee. It's precisely this commission that this morning the Borne appealed, implicitly discarding the name of Capron when she declared that the new CEO: "Must be a man of great experience. This is a rather special field. We're in a very competitive field. Air France-Klm is in a global competition and I think it's important to find an expert, will able to take as soon as possible the leadership of a company that has great challenges in front of itself".

And when the interviewer pointed out to the minister that Philippe Capron is not a professional in the aviation sector, she replied: "I confirm it", also remembering regarding the appointment "the trial is not finished, the nominating committee in charge of finding a new administrator will continue his work". This is a stop at all the ambitions of Capron. And giving a deadline, she concluded: "It's in everyone's interest if we can find the new head of the company by the end of July".

At the request, Borne hasn't biased on the possibility of an exit of the French State (which holds 14%) from the shareholder company: "The issue isn't on the table -she said- for now it's important to find a CEO for Air France-Klm". In fact, however, until last night, after two days of consultations by the board of directors, the company has announced that the selection process for its future boss was still under way. Aside from the negative opinion of the transport minister, according to the national press, it's the same group to have discarded Capron also for the opposition of Delta Air Lines and China Eastern Airlines, shareholders and partners of the company and KLM.

Only between the end of February and the beginning of May, fifteen days of strike cost the airline from 300 to 350 million euros. The new CEO will face nothing but a challenge, because in addition to having to deal with the terribly aggressive competitiveness of the Gulf companies and with the emergence of low-cost long-haul flights, it will have to remove that big plug in the side constituted by union claims and strikes, something not yet succeeded by his predecessors.

M/A - 1212465

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