Air France has appointed Anne Rigail as its new CEO.
Previously serving as EVP of customer at the airline, Rigail will assume her new role on December 17 2018, replacing Benjamin Smith who was appointed acting CEO throughout 2018.
Rigail’s first challenge in the role will be to oversee pay negotiations with cabin crew and pilots, as the airline seeks to put an end to a series of strikes that have cost millions of euros and led to the resignation of its parent company’s last two CEOs, as per Bloomberg.
“Throughout her career, she has always paid particular attention to employees while implementing the many projects and transformations she has led, and placed the customer at the heart of everything she does,” said Smith in a statement.
“With the support and commitment of every single employee, I am confident we can rise to the challenges for Air France today, ensuring service excellence to all our customers.
“I have complete faith that Anne will succeed in transforming Air France.”
The appointment is particularly significant considering a recent CAPA report found the number of female airline CEOs hasn’t improved in the last decade.
IATA also indicated that of its 286 airline members, only 12 are led by women representing approximately 4 per cent of members.