Air France workers criticize the selection process of the new president and threaten more strikes

The president of the National Union of Airlines Pilots (SNPL, for its acronym in French), Philippe Evain, majority in the Franco-Dutch group, has criticized that in the process of selection of the new president of Air France-KLM, are » reluctantly trying «some candidacies, and threatens 15 days of strike if the new management team does not accept their salary demands.

This was stated on Saturday by the president of the main union of the French airline in an interview with the newspaper ‘Le Parisien’, in which he doubted that the favorite candidate of the appointment committee, the current head of operations of Air Canada Benjamin Smith, is aware of the specificities of the European market, in which the ecosystem, which has traditional and low-cost airlines, «is very different».

He also regretted that the committee has not been able to find a French candidate. «It seems a shame to me, it’s a question of sovereignty,» added Evain, who maintained that with this appointment the board of directors is «pleasing the Americans and the Chinese.»

«I’m not sure it’s in the interest of Air France and the French passengers,» defended the SNPL president, who questioned the selection process, and spoke of «two or three talents of the sector that know the European market but they are discarded without any objective reason «.


For Evain, the reason for Smith’s choice is that, due to his lack of knowledge of the European market, it will be necessary for a large part of the company’s current managers to remain, at least in a transitory period.

Something that does not please the SNPL, which has already stated on several occasions that there is a «divorce» between workers and management. «Franck Terner (CEO of Air France), can no longer talk to us,» says the union representative, who criticizes that his vote, in which they rejected «massively» the current management team, is being «mocked.»

Finally, Evain has criticized the decision of the board of directors to triple the remuneration of the future president of the group to facilitate the search for a candidate.

«The truth is that it is something symbolic,» he admits, and then warn that if the new administrators are not willing to accept their salary demands, as did the previous president, Jean-Marc Janaillac, «there will be fifteen days of strike» .