LONDON — Both KLM and Delta Air Lines have expressed their concerns over the potential appointment of Philippe Capron as the new AF-KL group CEO.
According to internal sources, KLM and Delta deem Capron as inexperienced in the sector, therefore unqualified to fill the position and mitigate with the endless personnel management woes that the carrier has been battling.
Sources state that Capron currently works as CFO to French Water utility company Veolia.
Air France-KLM’s former chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac resigned last month after staff rejected a new pay offer.
Delta’s 8.8% equity stake in the AF-KL group gives them the possibility to share their thoughts when a C-Suite executive is named over in France.
While a spokeswoman for AF-KL had no comment on this, the French Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire, had confirmed that Capron was indeed a candidate for the role but was “one candidate among several others” for the post.
According to DutchNews.nl, the opposition against naming Capron is such, that the group is considering naming separate CEOs for the AF-KL holding company, and Air France itself.
“Between 26 April 2018, and today, 4 May 2018, the 46,771 staff at Air France were able to express their opinion in an electronic voting process supervised by a corporate voting professional, the proceedings of which are governed by the law in the presence of a bailiff,” said the French carrier via a public statement.
As a result of this rejection by the staff, the pay agreement proposal that was given to staff on April 16 ensured a 7% wage increase over 4 years, including a 2% increase in 2018, is no longer valid. The airline will have to renegotiate a new deal under the new direction of interim CEO, Franck Terner, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the group until the new CEO is appointed.
The strikes have cost Air France-KLM group around €75 million so far. The resignation news came following the release of the airline’s 1Q18 results, which have produced an operating income of €-118 million.