Air France Names New Chief Exec

December 12, 2018

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Air France has appointed Anne Rigail as chief executive, replacing Benjamin Smith who has been acting CEO since September.

Air France Names New Chief Executive

Rigail is currently EVP Customer at Air France and will take up the CEO position on December 17, the airline said. Smith remains CEO of the Air France-KLM group.

Rigail joined French domestic carrier Air Inter in 1991 and was appointed head of Air France Customer Services at Paris Orly Airport five years later. She has held a number of positions at the French flag carrier, most recently in charge of cabin crew as EVP In-flight Services, and in 2017 was appointed EVP Customer.

“Anne is a strong professional in the airline industry. Throughout her career, she has always paid particular attention to employees while implementing the many projects and transformations she has led,” group CEO Smith said. She places the customer “at the heart of everything she does,” he added.

Anne-Marie Couderc, chairwoman of the Air France-KLM board thanked Smith for “the outstanding work he has accomplished during his time as acting CEO at Air France. Under his leadership, our airline has rapidly taken decisive steps, renewing constructive social dialogue, and proposing a new executive governance structure.”

Air France-KLM has also appointed Benjamin Smith as a director of Air France-KLM and confirmed Anne-Marie Couderc as chairwoman of the Air France-KLM board.