ubeema
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AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:07 am

The new CEO compensation is reportedly 3x increase from former CEO to attract top talent. French pilot Unions are already threatening 15 day action if new leadership does not open negotiations for salary raises. Apparently Smith was very successful in negotiations at AC in 2015:

Smith, known to speak French, has a track record in dealing with unions, and was the main negotiator in talks with pilot and cabin crew staff at Air Canada that resulted in a 10-year agreement in 2015


https://money.usnews.com/investing/news ... or-ceo-job (English)
https://www.forbes.fr/business/air-fran ... -menacent/ (French)
 
IPFreely
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:19 am

ubeema wrote:
French pilot Unions are already threatening 15 day action if new leadership does not open negotiations for salary raises.


This was going to happen regardless of who became CEO.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:52 am

ubeema wrote:
The new CEO compensation is reportedly 3x increase from former CEO to attract top talent. French pilot Unions are already threatening 15 day action if new leadership does not open negotiations for salary raises. Apparently Smith was very successful in negotiations at AC in 2015:

Smith, known to speak French, has a track record in dealing with unions, and was the main negotiator in talks with pilot and cabin crew staff at Air Canada that resulted in a 10-year agreement in 2015


https://money.usnews.com/investing/news ... or-ceo-job (English)
https://www.forbes.fr/business/air-fran ... -menacent/ (French)


The pilots would have struck regardless.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:16 am

IPFreely wrote:
ubeema wrote:
French pilot Unions are already threatening 15 day action if new leadership does not open negotiations for salary raises.


This was going to happen regardless of who became CEO.


It's manufactured rage. If nothing else they would have argued his lapels were too wide.
 
blueflyer
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:22 pm

I think what the unions are objecting to foremost is that this choice marks a significant departure from the board’s leadership strategy. It used to be that criteria #1 to be the CEO of Air France was being French, and criteria #2 be willing to accept a lower compensation than the CEO of other major airlines. That made for a very, very small pool of potential candidates with the experience to lead the airline and negotiate with the unions. More often than not, the CEO had a background in smaller industries or public sector organizations considered keys by the French state and/or public, where disruptions from strikes could not be tolerated for very long, to the benefit of the unions.

Now that the board has lifted both restrictions, the unions know they may have to deal with a CEO that has the background and experience to negotiate toe-to-toe with them, and they’re obviously less than enthused. Witness their objections to the rumored new CEO, nothing to do with his skills…
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Aesma
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:28 pm

Yeah on a business radio they were saying pilots are angry because the CEO isn't French.

I could understand the concern somewhat if the CEO was Dutch, or worse from KLM, but being angry over a French speaking Canadian is ridiculous and makes them look really foolish, never good for people we're supposed to respect.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm

Aesma wrote:
angry over a French speaking Canadian is ridiculous

I'm not sure that French is in his wheelhouse. Either way, unions will whinge about anything...

YOWza
 
abrelosojos
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:21 pm

Great. Now, the Quebecois will see how they can't ever be accepted in France (AGAIN).

Saludos,
Alex
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:33 pm

IPFreely wrote:
ubeema wrote:
French pilot Unions are already threatening 15 day action if new leadership does not open negotiations for salary raises.


This was going to happen regardless of who became CEO.

Agreed.

AF costs must be brought under control, or split off KLM. The only commonality is DL JVs.

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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:39 pm

Whoever the new AF/KLM CEO is his task will be ENORMEOUS .
With AF Business PAX leaving for BA or other Air Carriers for better and cheaper service or their Leisure passengers leaving for EZY or Transavia . Sometimes you get better service and on time record on Transavia than AF .

AF is too much spread out with AF , Transavia , HOP , JOON . AF used to had its GLORY time back in the late 90's but with a strong market noawadays it will be tough . They'll have a hard task to facing the new LC markets .
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:39 pm

abrelosojos wrote:
Great. Now, the Quebecois will see how they can't ever be accepted in France (AGAIN).

Saludos,
Alex


Ben Smith isn’t from Quebec
 
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mercure1
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:20 pm

Its official

Board of Directors appoints Benjamin Smith as CEO of AFKL.

https://www.airfranceklm.com/en/news/bo ... ce-klm-ceo
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:48 pm

In addition to the items mentioned above it’s tough turnaround AF given <1% growth in the French economy.

Macron is weak and getting weaker and no one else is on the horizon. I fear for the prospects.
 
Jetty
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:56 pm

Title is wrong, it's only the AF unions that don't want him. KL unions probably couldn't care less about his nationality or are even happy he isn't French.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:37 pm

Jetty wrote:
Title is wrong, it's only the AF unions that don't want him. KL unions probably couldn't care less about his nationality or are even happy he isn't French.


KLM Unions have reacted happy that someone with a proven record in the aviation world is joining, they couldn't care less if he was nepalese/panamese/conoglese.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:54 pm

blueflyer wrote:
I think what the unions are objecting to foremost is that this choice marks a significant departure from the board’s leadership strategy. It used to be that criteria #1 to be the CEO of Air France was being French, and criteria #2 be willing to accept a lower compensation than the CEO of other major airlines. That made for a very, very small pool of potential candidates with the experience to lead the airline and negotiate with the unions. More often than not, the CEO had a background in smaller industries or public sector organizations considered keys by the French state and/or public, where disruptions from strikes could not be tolerated for very long, to the benefit of the unions.

Now that the board has lifted both restrictions, the unions know they may have to deal with a CEO that has the background and experience to negotiate toe-to-toe with them, and they’re obviously less than enthused. Witness their objections to the rumored new CEO, nothing to do with his skills…

So it’s okay for the execs to accept less than market pay, but not the pilots? The hypocrisy is amazing.

The French unions are a joke and it’s amazing how entitled they are.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:59 pm

Yikes, why would anyone want to accept the job. AF is the last large airline anyone would want to be CEO of.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:02 pm

It's just sad how the well-willing AF part + KLM + passenger is the victim of some unions living in the 1960's.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:06 pm

abrelosojos wrote:
Great. Now, the Quebecois will see how they can't ever be accepted in France (AGAIN).

Saludos,
Alex


Benjamin Smith does not seem to be of Quebecoise provenance. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario, and so I doubt whether his French is up to the standards of the AF unions!
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:38 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
In addition to the items mentioned above it’s tough turnaround AF given <1% growth in the French economy.

Macron is weak and getting weaker and no one else is on the horizon. I fear for the prospects.


Yep, weak Macron just reformed the French railways, something his predecessors would not even have dreamt of trying.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:46 pm

spinotter wrote:
Benjamin Smith does not seem to be of Quebecoise provenance. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario, and so I doubt whether his French is up to the standards of the AF unions!

What an odd thing to say. With two official languages, Canada is bilingual from coast to coast. There are many large regions in Canada outside of Quebec where French is the predominant language.

I have heard M. Smith speaking French to a Francophone crowd at HQ in Montreal and he spoke as well as any.

But I suggest, is any French speaker up to the standards of France (let alone French unions) without a natural French accent? I attended High School in Switzerland, so speak French with a Swiss accent. On a flight to CDG, I made all of the announcements from the cockpit in both English and French. When saying good bye to the passengers in Paris at the exit door, one of the passengers said (in French), "Clearly, you did not learn French in France". I responded (in French), "Clearly, you did not learn manners in England".

The Flight Attendant standing beside me had to jump into the lav, suppressing her laughter.

But I think Ben Smith's problems dealing with French unions will make these language issues seem trivial by comparison.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:08 pm

longhauler wrote:
spinotter wrote:
Benjamin Smith does not seem to be of Quebecoise provenance. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario, and so I doubt whether his French is up to the standards of the AF unions!

What an odd thing to say. With two official languages, Canada is bilingual from coast to coast. There are many large regions in Canada outside of Quebec where French is the predominant language.

I have heard M. Smith speaking French to a Francophone crowd at HQ in Montreal and he spoke as well as any.

But I suggest, is any French speaker up to the standards of France (let alone French unions) without a natural French accent? I attended High School in Switzerland, so speak French with a Swiss accent. On a flight to CDG, I made all of the announcements from the cockpit in both English and French. When saying good bye to the passengers in Paris at the exit door, one of the passengers said (in French), "Clearly, you did not learn French in France". I responded (in French), "Clearly, you did not learn manners in England".

The Flight Attendant standing beside me had to jump into the lav, suppressing her laughter.

But I think Ben Smith's problems dealing with French unions will make these language issues seem trivial by comparison.


Thank You... I can only agree with you. As an English mother tongue Ontarian that is fluent in French (accused of being from Rouyn Noranda frequently) I can only say France is very snooty about French on the surface but once beyond the initial teeth grating they seem to take to every accent (even ones from other parts of France) they soon move on in my experience. Quite frankly the French will be snooty about everything in my experience, it's just the culture of France as far as i can tell (I mean French waiters being polite would be a shock to the system for example)... but then again French Unions it seems will strike about people talking about changes to a change that isn't even in effect so I really think it is the least of the worries for Smith. I have seen Mr Smith speak french on TV and he speaks it quite well if a little accented... probably better than our current PM.
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Aesma
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:19 pm

I said "French speaking" as the radio said he spoke French, nothing more, nothing less.

A Parisian accent is better, people from the country have to ditch their accent if they want to succeed on TV/radio/cinema, with very few exceptions.

It's not difficult to adapt though, keeping an accent but suppressing it a bit. I spent a week in Québec and by the end I was speaking with the local accent.

I'm working with a team in Switzerland right now and their accent could pass for a regional French accent.

On the telephone systems I work with (a Canadian brand) you can choose between Canadian French and European French.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:24 pm

I love this, and Smith should call the Air France crew's bluff. I could see KLM cutting Air France loose. I also love that companies and even government agencies will look worldwide for the best talent.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:42 pm

People impeed progress on an accent? I work with Russian, Thai, New York, and even Paris English accents. One neighbor has a Paris accent, another a Turkish accent despite being in the USA and case.

My daughters have friends with Tokyo and Korean accents.

Why waste the time? If you can understand, work together! That allows a company to hire the best talent.

Heck, I have an engineer with a southern bell accent. No one complains!

Seriously, I reported for years to a manager with a heavy French accent. He's lived in Southern California 25 years. A CEO must be understood, but an accent is nice flavor.

The protest is a fear of change.

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ubeema
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:42 pm

longhauler wrote:
When saying good bye to the passengers in Paris at the exit door, one of the passengers said (in French), "Clearly, you did not learn French in France". I responded (in French), "Clearly, you did not learn manners in England".

That was hilarious. Well said! If people visit Bordeaux, Marseille, or even Corsica they will be surprised.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:42 am

I recently watched season 2 of 'Au service de la France' on Netflix ('A Very Secret Service', in English). Hilarious show. On one episode the French spies have a meeting with Quebecois independists, and all they do is mock the Canadian's pronunciation ('is that French?' they wonder). Some characters would only do certain work if they got paid to do so, and attempt at a strike only to be shocked that the world keeps turning.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:58 am

Msep003 wrote:
With AF Business PAX leaving for BA or other Air Carriers for better and cheaper service or their Leisure passengers leaving for EZY or Transavia . Sometimes you get better service and on time record on Transavia than AF


I don't know what your sources are but from what I read in the French press, results are up for both AF and TO despite the big strikes. AF is doing well in first and business. TO is facing a little growth crisis, though. The fleet being capped at 40 units by contracts with the unions and will have to be renegotiated. I guess this will be one of Smith's jobs amongst other tough tasks.
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ro1960
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:10 am

The SNPL mixes up AF (the airline) and AF-KLM (the group). AF managing director will remain French (Franck Terner). Smith will be at the head of the group.

The whole non-French thing is plain ridiculous. Specially when all previous CEO have been French with the results we all know.

The SNPL is also in total panic mode because they're seeing the end of their power on the horizon. The article in La Tribune sums it up pretty clearly:

"Especially since if the state withdraws from Air France-KLM as it intends, the pressure of the unions on the Government to influence the policy of the management may indeed end."
https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/services/transport-logistique/ben-smith-le-nouveau-patron-canadien-d-air-france-klm-arrive-en-terrain-mine-787821.html
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:38 am

PerfectGriffin wrote:
Yikes, why would anyone want to accept the job. AF is the last large airline anyone would want to be CEO of.


Anybody who gets that far up the corporate totem pole has an ego. If he can sort out AF-KL he can name his price for the next job.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:01 am

ro1960 wrote:
The SNPL mixes up AF (the airline) and AF-KLM (the group). AF managing director will remain French (Franck Terner). Smith will be at the head of the group.


You are correct. Nevertheless, AF KLM is a company governed by the French law headquartered in France.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:47 pm

Msep003 wrote:
Whoever the new AF/KLM CEO is his task will be ENORMEOUS .
With AF Business PAX leaving for BA or other Air Carriers for better and cheaper service


AF has a market share and loyalty issue, that is clear. But British Airways is certainly not an airline that AF passengers migrate to. BA is financially successful, but their product is atrocious, and definitely inferior to what Air France has rolled out over the past couple of years.

ro1960 wrote:
The SNPL mixes up AF (the airline) and AF-KLM (the group). AF managing director will remain French (Franck Terner). Smith will be at the head of the group.

The whole non-French thing is plain ridiculous. Specially when all previous CEO have been French with the results we all know.


Not only that. They mix up the split roles of CEO (now Ben Smith) and Chairman (still unknown, will probably be French).

Clueless bunch... they are overpaid compared to the market, but they want their CEO to be paid a third of what market pays his peers. Ridiculous.
 
seb76
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:25 pm

Planeflyer wrote:
In addition to the items mentioned above it’s tough turnaround AF given <1% growth in the French economy.

Macron is weak and getting weaker and no one else is on the horizon. I fear for the prospects.


I think the reason for the <1% growth in the French economy has a lot to do with the strikes situations in France. Most international companies including the one I work for (in Belgium) took big efforts to avoid scheduling any business trip or meeting in France or passing trough France. Once you combined all strikes from ATC/Pilots/Cabin Crew/Railways/Luggage handlers on a calendar, you find out that you can never organize something decent with some safety margin in that country. (not that Belgium is immune to strikes, we also had our share, but this was really extreme).

I think the title can be changed to just AF unions. KLM staff has probably no issue with the nationality of the new exec. It's quite the opposite in fact.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:29 pm

mozart wrote:
Msep003 wrote:
Whoever the new AF/KLM CEO is his task will be ENORMEOUS .
With AF Business PAX leaving for BA or other Air Carriers for better and cheaper service


AF has a market share and loyalty issue, that is clear. But British Airways is certainly not an airline that AF passengers migrate to. BA is financially successful, but their product is atrocious, and definitely inferior to what Air France has rolled out over the past couple of years.



Fully agree. Food and service quality wise, Air France is among the best you can find in Europe … but that's only if all goes as planned of course ;-)
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:09 pm

seb76 wrote:
Planeflyer wrote:
In addition to the items mentioned above it’s tough turnaround AF given <1% growth in the French economy.

Macron is weak and getting weaker and no one else is on the horizon. I fear for the prospects.


I think the reason for the <1% growth in the French economy has a lot to do with the strikes situations in France. Most international companies including the one I work for (in Belgium) took big efforts to avoid scheduling any business trip or meeting in France or passing trough France. Once you combined all strikes from ATC/Pilots/Cabin Crew/Railways/Luggage handlers on a calendar, you find out that you can never organize something decent with some safety margin in that country. (not that Belgium is immune to strikes, we also had our share, but this was really extreme).
.


The weak growth has more to do with high labor cost rather than with strikes.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:12 pm

seb76 wrote:
mozart wrote:
Msep003 wrote:
Whoever the new AF/KLM CEO is his task will be ENORMEOUS .
With AF Business PAX leaving for BA or other Air Carriers for better and cheaper service


AF has a market share and loyalty issue, that is clear. But British Airways is certainly not an airline that AF passengers migrate to. BA is financially successful, but their product is atrocious, and definitely inferior to what Air France has rolled out over the past couple of years.



Fully agree. Food and service quality wise, Air France is among the best you can find in Europe … but that's only if all goes as planned of course ;-)


AF’s problem is they are unreliable both operationally and in terms of service. Some of my best and worst flights have been with AF. Flying them is a lottery. They are far from being as consistent as say Swiss or Aegean.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:42 pm

Stock market not reacting well to the news.

AFKL shares down 4% on Friday, the worst stock on the Paris SBF-120.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-air-f ... KKBN1L211I

Also KLM pilots now threatening strike.
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Aesma
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:15 am

Actually the stock is down due the the announcement of a strike, not due to the CEO announcement.
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:43 am

Nationalism. The unions appear to be nationalistic. What other term could describe their chagrin over a non-French citizen being given this position?

And I'm sure, that in their mind, their actions for pay and benefits are in defense of civilization, to avoid "a rush to the bottom" as leftists say in the USA. I don't necessarily agree with that logic but it is my perception that it is their view.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:14 am

SteelChair wrote:
Nationalism. The unions appear to be nationalistic. What other term could describe their chagrin over a non-French citizen being given this position?

How is that possible, I thought nationalism was a dirty word in France, the obligations to have French personnel in some jobs must use another term.
Funny thing here is whether he has incentives in his compensation package, sounds as if just being non-French is worth a couple days strike, honestly wonder what authority the board promised, unless they intend to use him as the fall guy when things go south.
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:16 am

par13del wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Nationalism. The unions appear to be nationalistic. What other term could describe their chagrin over a non-French citizen being given this position?

How is that possible, I thought nationalism was a dirty word in France, the obligations to have French personnel in some jobs must use another term.
Funny thing here is whether he has incentives in his compensation package, sounds as if just being non-French is worth a couple days strike, honestly wonder what authority the board promised, unless they intend to use him as the fall guy when things go south.


Hatchet man? Didn't Lufthansa use Fred Reid (USA citizen) the same way a number of years ago to cut fat that no German could or would?
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:48 am

I fly a lot with AF as they are my go to across the pond and I truly have had an amazing experience each time. I've flown Premium Econ and Econ Duo on the A380, not Business, but I saw the Business and I know how I was treated in Prem Econ so I don't buy when people say AF is not competitive, especially with the bottom dweller legacy BA cmon. As far as Easyjet, they are good, not very punctual always but I still to AF due to Skyteam and I am sure many others do as well. Easy gets some of the flight bookings, but now Air Europa is actually looking at more from me next year.

Anyway the point, AF is doing well for customers. I cant speak for KLM, can anyone?
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:25 am

Planeflyer wrote:
In addition to the items mentioned above it’s tough turnaround AF given <1% growth in the French economy.

Might want to check your figures. If you had any...

France last saw annual GDP growth below 1% in 2013. It was 2.2% in 2017, which also happens to be the average GDP growth rate in the EU, and 0.1% below the US rate.

For the 12-months ending in June '18 (most recent stats available), the growth rate has dipped to 1.7% compared to the 12-month period ending in June '17. According to economists, railroad strikes are partly to blame. Air France strikes are not even a blip.
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blueflyer
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:34 am

SteelChair wrote:
Nationalism. The unions appear to be nationalistic. What other term could describe their chagrin over a non-French citizen being given this position?

I'm not sure the citizenship really matters. I think, for the unions, French is code for "no track record to take on unions and win." Most previous Air France CEOs came with a background in either smaller industries or in public sector organizations with strong labor organizations and where the public was not willing to tolerate long strikes, in other words, CEOs used to cave in eventually. A CEO with experience negotiating toe-to-toe with unions in an airline somewhat of the same size is the unions' worst case scenario. Attacking Benjamin Smith's citizenship is a naked appeal to French nationalism, but it is pure opportunism on the part of the unions. If he was French, they'd be complaining just as loudly, about something else...
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Aesma
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:36 am

SteelChair wrote:
Nationalism. The unions appear to be nationalistic. What other term could describe their chagrin over a non-French citizen being given this position?

And I'm sure, that in their mind, their actions for pay and benefits are in defense of civilization, to avoid "a rush to the bottom" as leftists say in the USA. I don't necessarily agree with that logic but it is my perception that it is their view.


It's not about his nationality per se, more about the fact that he doesn't have to find his next job in France so will not care about being tough on the unions. He doesn't come from the French establishment, doesn't have friends in government and administration, etc., so he's a threat.
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Aesma
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:39 am

blueflyer beat me to it.

Also, it's now clear that the government would like to sell its share in AFKL, if only it was worth something, so for the unions either the company recovers and they lose their grip on things because the government sells, or the company goes down and there is little hope the government would save it. A no win scenario for them.
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strfyr51
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:22 am

PerfectGriffin wrote:
Yikes, why would anyone want to accept the job. AF is the last large airline anyone would want to be CEO of.

It's a challenge!! Anybody who would take on the Air France Pilots and live to tell about it? Would become an industrial "ROCK STAR"!!
Hell!! Id sell ringside seats in their contract negotiations and make MILLIONS!!
 
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Taxi645
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:22 am

Aesma wrote:
SteelChair wrote:
Nationalism. The unions appear to be nationalistic. What other term could describe their chagrin over a non-French citizen being given this position?

And I'm sure, that in their mind, their actions for pay and benefits are in defense of civilization, to avoid "a rush to the bottom" as leftists say in the USA. I don't necessarily agree with that logic but it is my perception that it is their view.


It's not about his nationality per se, more about the fact that he doesn't have to find his next job in France so will not care about being tough on the unions. He doesn't come from the French establishment, doesn't have friends in government and administration, etc., so he's a threat.


Also, being a strong choice, if he would fail to get the unions to get real, that might also signal the end of the "we are better together" policy and might kickstart exploring other options in the AF KLM partnership.
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rouelan
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:54 am

By the way, does anybody know about Ben Smith achievements ?
In Europe, I would say he is totally unknown and it was a big surprise to see him getting the job
 
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Re: AF/KLM Unions bristle as Air Canada Exec tipped for CEO

Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:19 pm

rouelan wrote:
By the way, does anybody know about Ben Smith achievements ?
In Europe, I would say he is totally unknown and it was a big surprise to see him getting the job


Air Canada Rouge. And dropping AC Y service levels (cleanliness, catering etc) to US3/sub-US3 standards. Belongs to the "Y passengers are cheap" school of thought and treats them with corresponding contempt (see AC "banana bread" breakfasts). I would put my money on AF Y catering/service trending down to AC levels in the coming years.

On the flip side, he's tried to rebrand AC J - and the international lounges have seen some improvements. Better J amenity kits too, albeit with significant price increases of late.

Going to be interesting seeing how he copes in a significantly more competitive environment. The "unique"/protected Canadian market gave him room to manoeuvre. Europe might not be as forgiving.

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