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Air France

First Female CEO of Air France Appointed

First Female CEO of Air France Appointed
Jackie Reddy

Anne Rigail has been appointed as Air France’s new CEO. Rigail, who’ll succeed Benjamin Smith at the carrier, is presently serving as Air France’s executive vice president customer. Rigail has been with Air France since the 1990s and it is hoped that she can meet the challenges facing the carrier.

Anne Rigail has been appointed as Air France‘s new CEO, the carrier has announced. Rigail will commence her role on December 17, replacing Benjamin Smith, who had acted as the airline’s interim CEO following the departure of Franck Terner back in September.

Rigail is presently serving as Air France’s executive vice president customer and her career with the carrier spans back to the mid-1990s.

While Skift observes that Rigail’s appointment is notable for her being one of the few female CEOs within the aviation industry – and Air France’s first – it also notes that Rigail’s tenure could see her easing relations between the carrier and its unions.

Speaking of Rigail’s appointment, Anne-Marie Couderc, chair of the Air France-KLM board of directors, said, “I wish Anne every success in her new position, for the benefit of both Air France and the Air France-KLM Group. I am very pleased that she has accepted this very exciting new challenge.”

As the outgoing CEO, Smith also offered his comments, saying, “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. 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. Together with Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM, the Air France-KLM Group is taking an important step in its reorganization to reconquer its market position,” he added.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)


  1. robertr

    December 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Actually my major gripe is the lavatories/lets have a male & female toilet segregated , I am over women putting on their makeup and taking up lavatory space for 15-20 minutes without a care in the world whilst I am busting for a leak.

  2. j2simpso

    December 21, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    What’s unclear in the story is what happens to Mr. Smith. Is he going back to AC or is he hanging on with AF? It’ll be interesting to see how management turns this sinking ship around!

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