Group Executive Committee

Group Executive Committee

The Group Executive Committee meets every two weeks, alternating between Amsterdam and Paris, in order to determine the Group’s main orientations within the framework of the strategy approved by the Board of Directors. 

Benjamin Smith , Chief Executive Officer, Air France-KLM

Benjamin Smith is a senior airline industry veteran, having spent twenty years at Air Canada before joining Air France-KLM as Chief Executive Officer.

In 1990, while at university, he started part time as a Customer Service Agent at Air Ontario.  In 1992 he followed an entrepreneurial path and established his own retail corporate travel agency, successfully running this business for eight years. In 2002 he joined Air Canada, envisioning and subsequently leading its Tango subsidiary.

Benjamin later became Vice President, Network Planning, followed by Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer in 2007, and subsequently President, Airlines (Air Canada, Rouge, Express, Cargo) and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. He assumed overall responsibility for commercial, operations, and customer service functions, and spearheaded their commercial growth strategy, resulting in impressive financial performance.

In August 2018 Benjamin Smith was appointed CEO of Air France-KLM, and in December, a member of the Air France-KLM Board of Directors.

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Steven Zaat , Chief Financial Officer, Air France-KLM

Steven Zaat holds a degree in economics and business studies from the Erasmus University and a Certified Controller post-graduate diploma from the Amsterdam Vrije University Controllers Institute.

After occupying various financial positions at AKZO Nobel, a company specializing in chemical and pharmaceutical products, Steven Zaat joined KLM in 2000 where he occupied various positions within the Engineering and Maintenance division and subsequently within Alliances and Auditing.

In 2014, he joined the Air France-KLM group, as VP Finance & Control Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance.

In 2015, he became Senior Vice President Corporate Control Air France-KLM, in charge of shared financial services, Corporate Control and joint ventures. He was part of the teams involved in negotiating the joint venture between Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic.

In July 2019, Steven Zaat became EVP Finance at Air France.

Since July 1st 2021, he has been appointed Chief Financial Officer at Air France-KLM Group.

Anne Rigail , Chief Executive Officer, Air France

A graduate of the Mines Paris Tech, Anne Rigail joined Air Inter in 1991. In 1996, she was appointed in charge of Air France customer services at Paris-Orly. In 1999, she became director of passenger and baggage connections at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub, and subsequently head of customer and baggage products for Ground Operations. In 2005, she was appointed to create the Paris-CDG hub operations control centre. She became VP Ground Operations at Paris-Charles de Gaulle in 2009 . In 2013 she became EVP In-flight Services, in charge of Cabin Crew and in 2017 was appointed EVP Customer.

Anne Rigail was appointed CEO of Air France on December 12, 2018. 

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Pieter Elbers , President and Chief Executive Officer, KLM

Pieter Elbers is an airline industry veteran. A graduate of the Open University of Amsterdam (Master in Business Administration) and the Academy of Venlo (Bachelor in Logistics Management), he has also completed executive programmes at IMD (Lausanne), Columbia University (New York) and Tsinghua (Beijing).

Pieter Elbers started his career with KLM in 1992 as aircraft loading manager, followed by a number of managerial positions in the Netherlands as well as six years abroad (Italy, Greece and Japan). In 2005, he occupied the position of Senior Vice President Network and Alliances until 2011 when he joined the KLM Managing Board as Chief Operating Officer.

In 2014, Pieter Elbers was appointed Chairman of the KLM Managing Board.

Pieter Elbers is a member of the international advisory board of international institute of air and space law (IIASL), the advisory board of the national aerospace laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR) and the College Dutch Aerospace/”Lucht-enRuimtevaart Nederland” (LRN).

Pieter Bootsma , Chief Revenue Officer Air France-KLM

Pieter Bootsma graduated from the Technical University of Twente (Business Engineering & Management Science, Applied Mathematics, 1992) and holds a PhD in Business Engineering & Management Science (Airline Flight Schedule Development, analysis and design tools for European hinterland hubs, Technical University of Twente, 1997). He is an alumnus of Columbia University, New York (TGM, 2004).

Mr. Bootsma joined KLM in 1995 and worked in the area of network planning and schedule development until 2000. Then he joined Pricing & Revenue Management, first being responsible for Europe (2000), later for the North Atlantic NW/KL JV (2003) and as of June 2004, he held worldwide responsibility for KLM’s Pricing & Revenue Management activities. In 2008 he was appointed director for both Air France and KLM in the field of Pricing & Revenue Management. In April 2011, he became responsible for Marketing, Revenue Management and Network (MRN) for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

In 2013, Pieter Bootsma has been Executive Vice President Commercial & Revenue for Air France KLM. In this capacity he is responsible for the development and implementation of worldwide network and pricing and revenue management strategy for the group Air France KLM. He is also in charge of various joint venture and alliance activities of the group (Delta, China Southern, Etihad/Alitalia, Kenya Airways). Besides this, his scope includes responsibility for the group’s commercial distribution, worldwide sales and service centres and commercial innovation through system development.

Pieter Bootsma was board member of Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO, Washington, USA from 2004 until 2009).

Since July 2020, he is appointed Chief Revenue Officer Air France-KLM.

Pieter Bootsma will chair the Commercial Committee, which will oversee the direction of all shared commercial activity at the Air France-KLM Group.

Anne Brachet , Executive Vice President, Air France-KLM, Engineering & Maintenance

Anne Brachet holds a diploma in engineering, a post-graduate diploma in business management and another in management studies.

Anne Brachet began her career as quality manager at Delpeyrat. She then moved to Servair, an Air France group subsidiary specialized in catering and airport ground services, where between 1994 and 1998 she was successively Head of Operations and Head of Sales, Overseas Airlines. She subsequently worked for Orgaconseil as a Senior Manager in the Industry and Services sector, returning once more to work for the Air France Group in 2000. After heading up the Aircraft supply chain until May 2004, she was subsequently appointed to run the Le Bourget Maintenance Centre, where she was mostly involved with Through Life support for the French Air Force's fleet of AWACS surveillance aircraft, and with Special Fleets, and Aerostructures maintenance.

In June 2005, Anne Brachet was appointed Head of the Air France Industries Engine Overhaul Division and has helped oversee major industrial development projects such as the integration of new generation products (GE90 and GP7200) and the construction of new maintenance facilities, including the Constellation engine shop at Orly, and Zephyr, the new engine test cell, at Roissy-CDG.

In December 2012, she was appointed SVP Engineering and Airframe for AFI, before taking the helm at Air France Industries in 2013. 

In November 2016, she was appointed Executive Vice President Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance.

Oltion Carkaxhija , Executive Vice President Transformation Air France-KLM

Oltion Carkaxhija holds a Master degree from Loyale College in Maryland (USA) with a specialization in International business.

He joined Air Canada in 2008 as an analyst in the Finance Department where he held several positions for 8 years.

In 2016, he became Director Strategy Network and fleet Planning within the Network Planning team.

In September 2018, Oltion joined AFKLM Group as VP Corporate Planning with particular focus on industrial relations then he became SVP Group Transformation.

Since October 1st 2020, he has been appointed Executive Vice President - Transformation to further strengthen the Group competitiveness.

Adriaan den Heijer , Executive Vice President, Air France KLM, Cargo

Adriaan den Heijer holds a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Eindhoven and a Postgraduate Degree Certified Financial Management at Amsterdam University.

He joined KLM in 1995 and gained commercial and operational experience working at various positions at KLM, Air France-KLM and its Cargo division. 

Adriaan was Director KLM Cargo North and West Europe from 2000-2004. He was appointed General Manager KLM for Greater China based in Hong Kong, in 2004. He subsequently assumed the position of Vice President Pricing & Revenue Management KLM Europe in 2007 before he became Vice President KLM Marketing & Brand in 2009.

In 2011 he was appointed as Senior Vice President KLM Ground Services leading the ground handling of passengers, luggage and aircraft at Schiphol Airport.

Most recently, Adriaan den Heijer has been Senior Vice President Pricing & Revenue Management for Air France-KLM, responsible for the development and implementation of the pricing and revenue management strategies for the Air France-KLM Group.

Since January 2020, he has been appointed EVP Air France-KLM Cargo.

Jean-Christophe Lalanne , Executive Vice President, Air France-KLM, Information Technology

Jean-Christophe Lalanne, a Telecom Paris engineer and an IAE Paris-Sorbonne graduate, has devoted his entire career to the world of information technologies.

He has led numerous assignments in the field of information systems architecture and technologies within the Alcatel group, Sema group and subsequently at Ernst & Young consultants. At the time of Ernst & Young’s merger with Cap Gemini in 2000, he occupied several executive functions within Cap Gemini France. 

In 2004, he joined Air France-KLM as assistant to the Group’s general manager of information systems. He oversaw IT strategy and contributed to the integration of the Air France and KLM information systems. 

In 2012 he is appointed Executive Vice President IT Air France KLM.

Anne-Sophie Le Lay , Executive Vice President Air France-KLM Corporate Secretary

Anne-Sophie Le Lay holds a law degree from the Paris Bar and a Master's degree in Business Law and Real Estate Law.

She began her professional career in 1996 as a lawyer specializing in Business Law and Real Estate Law in Paris. She then moved to Toronto in Canada, where she worked as a consultant in a law firm.

In 2001, she joined the Legal Department of the Renault Group, initially responsible for the legal assembly of the sale of land at the former Billancourt plant. In 2007, she took charge of the environmental law, energy and real estate division. A year later, she was in charge of the Euromed region. In this capacity, she was part of the negotiating team with the Kingdom of Morocco for the implementation of the Tangiers plant. At the same time, she led transversal topics related to the Group's international development.

From 2011 to February 2018 she was Legal Director of the Renault Group within the framework of the development of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Anne-Sophie Le Lay is also Vice-President of the Montesquieu Circle, Association of Legal Directors and within this framework is Pedagogical Director of the Executive Master General Counsel, in partnership with Science Po Paris.

Anne-Sophie Le Lay joined the Group on February 20, 2018 as General Secretary of Air France-KLM and Air France. 

Henri de Peyrelongue , Executive Vice President Commercial Sales Air France-KLM

Henri de Peyrelongue graduated from l’Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Following an experience at UTA, he joined Air France in 1992 and contributed to the creation of the hub at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle. After managing Air France network scheduling, he led the airline Revenue Management team from 2000 to 2007. In 2008, he was appointed Air France-KLM Senior Vice President in charge of Network Planning until 2012. In 2013, he joined the sales organization as Senior Vice President, Europe-North Africa.

In 2016, he has been Senior Vice President, Commercial Planning.

Since July 2020, he is appointed Executive Vice President Commercial Sales Air France-KLM.