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            september 18, 2019

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Air France-KLM fires CEO


The board of Air France-KLM, Europe's largest airline group by revenue, recently voted to dismiss CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, who had been in the position for only four months, according to the Shipping Gazette. 
He has been succeeded by company chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta, who will take over the role of chief executive, while Leo Van Wijk will act as deputy CEO.
The company said this will "improve the group's operating and financial performance in the context of economic uncertainties affecting European air traffic".
The group's shares have slumped 53 per cent over the past six months with an operating loss of EUR145 million (US$201 million) in the April-June period.
Inside sources cited by the Herald Sun said: "It's above all an internal problem between Mr Gourgeon and Jean-Cyril Spinetta."
Said the company: "In the current economic context, top priority must be given to the recovery and improvement of the performance of Air France and of KLM, which must better address these challenges."
Air France-KLM have moved to consolidate the two airlines after their merger in 2004 by combining back-office functions, while maintaining separate networks.
The merged company has faced a difficult operating environment due to high labour costs, huge debt and fierce competition that has particularly hit Air France, reported London's International Freighting Weekly.
To tackle the problem, the group has appointed Alexandre de Juniac, the head of Air France, to help turn around the troubled airline's performance, according to a group statement.
Mr Juniac, who is now seen as the next CEO of Air France-KLM, had previously been a top assistant to French finance minister Christine Lagarde prior to her appointment as the head of the International Monetary Fund.

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