June 28, 2018 / 6:45 AM / 21 days ago

French transport minister says Air France-KLM CEO should be air transport expert

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s transport minister on Thursday said it was important that Air France-KLM’s new CEO be a specialist of air transport.

FILE PHOTO: An Air France Airbus A321 lands at Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris, France, May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo/File Photo

Minister Elisabeth Borne also told Radio Classique that it would be good to appoint the new CEO in July.

French media have reported that KLM, the Dutch airline part of the group, and Delta Airlines - which has an 8.8 percent stake - had expressed opposition toward possible plans to name Veolia chief financial officer Philippe Capron as new Air France KLM CEO over his lack of experience in the sector.

Without getting into more details Borne said Capron was “one of the candidates,” while adding: “Air France-KLM is facing global competition and I think it is important that we find someone who is a specialist of the aviation sector and can quickly take leadership in the company, which faces important challenges.”

Air France-KLM said on Wednesday that its search for a new chief executive was continuing, adding it hoped to reach a decision “as quickly as possible”.

Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Julie Carriat; Editing by Dominique Vidalon

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