June 28, 2018 / 6:45 AM / 8 months ago

French transport minister says Air France-KLM CEO should be air transport expert

French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne is pictured before the vote for the French government's SNCF reform bill at the National Assembly in Paris, June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s transport minister on Thursday said it was important that Air France-KLM’s new CEO be a specialist of air transport.

Minister Elisabeth Borne also told Radio Classique that it would be good to appoint the new CEO in July.

French media have reported that KLM, the Dutch airline part of the group, and Delta Airlines (DAL.N) - which has an 8.8 percent stake - had expressed opposition towards possible plans to name Veolia chief financial officer Philippe Capron as new Air France KLM CEO over his lack of experience in the sector.

Without getting into more details Borne said Capron was “one of the candidates,” while adding: “Air France-KLM is facing global competition and I think it is important that we find someone who is a specialist of the aviation sector and can quickly take leadership in the company, which faces important challenges.”

Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) said on Wednesday that its search for a new chief executive was continuing, adding it hoped to reach a decision “as quickly as possible”.

Reporting by Ingrid Melander and Julie Carriat; Editing by Dominique Vidalon

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