The annual shareholders meeting in Paris on Tuesday brought temporary respite to the troubled airline partnership Air France KLM.
It is hoped the solution – which includes KLM president Pieter Elbers in a management triumvirate – will bring peace to Europe’s second-largest airline, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday.
Frédéric Gagey, who now severs as CFO at Air France-KLM, will become interim chairman of the Franco-Dutch group. This is a temporary appointment designed to fill in the gap created by the resignation of Jean-Marc Janaillac as CEO after his latest pay-and-conditions proposal was rejected by striking Air France pilots 10 days ago.
Part of Janaillac’s duties will be taken over temporarily by Anne-Marie Couderc who will serve as non-executive chairman of the group. Couderc has been a member of Air France KLM’s supervisory board since 2016 and is former CEO of French publisher Hachette.
Daily operations at the combine will be in the hands of Gagey, Elbers and Air France chief Franck Terner.
In a reaction, Elbers said he welcomed the chance to work with Couderc and thanked Janaillac for their partnership over the past two years.
Air France KLM stressed it was continuing its search for a permanent successor to Janaillac.
Strikes at Air France have cost the French airline an estimated €400m so far this year and have been pulling the fragile partnership apart as Air France pilots seek a fatter pay package.