August 2, 2018 / 12:30 PM / in 10 months

No new Air France-KLM leadership before end-August: sources

PARIS (Reuters) - Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) is unlikely to name a new leadership team before the end of August or early September, sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The Air France-KLM company logo is seen during the company's half-year results in Paris, France, August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The airline has been hunting for a new boss to fill a gap left by the abrupt departure of chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac in May, after staff rejected a pay proposal aimed at ending strikes that have resulted in heavy losses.

Air France KLM reported its second quarter results on Wednesday but did not give clues on the CEO search.

“The initial timetable was - ‘Let’s strive for an announcement before end-July.’ It was the will of the nomination committee to identify a candidate before the end of the month,” said one of the sources.

But disturbances ranging from media speculation about the potential candidates to AccorHotels (ACCP.PA) voicing an interest in buying a stake in Air France KLM and then dropping that plan, had complicated the process, said the sources.

“So you lose a week here and there and it’s August 1. It means nothing will happen before the end of the month. Everyone must go and come back from holidays,” said one of the sources.

In mid-July, Anne-Marie Couderc - the interim chairman of Air France KLM - had said in a memorandum seen by Reuters that the company hoped to have a new leadership team fully up and running by September.

According to La website, Air France-KLM’s nomination committee is currently talking to one north American executive with a good knowledge of the airlines industry.

Air France-KLM declined to comment on the situation.

The French government has a stake of about 14 percent in Air France-KLM, while Delta Airlines (DAL.N) and China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS) each hold 8.8 percent.

Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer and Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta/Jean-Michel Belot

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