September 27, 2018 / 4:30 PM / in 7 months

Air France-KLM's CEO Smith to head French unit for a transitional period

FILE PHOTO: The Air France Airbus A319-113 takes off from Nice International airport in Nice, France, September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM’s (AIRF.PA) new chief executive Benjamin Smith will also head the airline’s French division for a transitional period, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Smith replaces Franck Terner, who is resigning, and will head the French unit until Dec.31 at the latest, Air France’s board of directors decided.

Smith, a Canadian national, took over the group last week with the mission to reduce the French unit’s swollen cost base while keeping increasingly frustrated Dutch staff on side.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain, Editing by Sarah White

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