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. 

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Benjamin Smith , Chief Executive Officer Air France-KLM
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Benjamin Smith is a reputed senior air transport industry executive at international level. He has spent the last twenty years at Air Canada, where until today he was President Airlines and Chief Operating Officer.

He started out in 1990 at Air Ontario in parallel with his studies and in 1992 set up his own retail corporate travel agency. He successfully helmed this entrepreneurial experience for eight years. In 1999, he also simultaneously took on a consultancy role for Air Canada before finally joining the group in 2002.

Since his 2002 arrival, Benjamin Smith has filled a number of high-ranking positions at Air Canada. He was successively Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Network Planning, before joining the Air Canada executive management team in 2007.

Throughout his career, he has developed strong skills in management, strategy, labour relations management, marketing, and financial and operational management. In particular, he was the man behind Air Canada’s growth and modernization. He has defined and implemented Air Canada’s transformation strategy over the past decade, rolled out the Air Canada Group’s network expansion project worldwide, and substantially upgraded the fleet in terms of aircraft numbers and energy efficiency. As part of his responsibilities, he has also redefined Air Canada’s hub strategy, creating three major hubs to align with the airline’s key markets. Benjamin Smith was also the prime mover behind Air Canada Rouge, Air Canada’s low-cost brand, which is particularly successful at international level.

Benjamin Smith has been deeply involved in social dialogue at Air Canada. He personally oversaw, with the Human Resources Division, the collective bargaining talks with trade unions. These negotiations led to historic win-win long-term agreements for the airline, its workforce, and all other stakeholders.

In 2014, he was appointed President Airlines (Air Canada, Rouge, Express, Cargo) and Chief Operating Officer of the Air Canada Group. He took on overall responsibility for sales, operations, and customer service for the Group. He has also spearheaded Air Canada’s operational and financial performance strategy.

On 16 August 2018, Benjamin Smith was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Air France-KLM group.

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Frédéric Gagey , Chief Financial Officer, Air France-KLM
Frédéric Gagey was born in Vesoul in 1956.
A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the ENSAE School of Economics, Statistics and Finance, he holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Université de Paris I.

Mr. Gagey began his career at the French Bureau of Statistics (INSEE) and in the Ministry of Finance.

Between September 1994 and April 1997, he held the positions of Vice President Budget and Control at Air Inter. Following the merger between Air Inter and Air France in April 1997, Mr. Gagey was appointed Vice President for privatization and financial communication at Air France. 

In June 1999, Mr. Gagey took up the position of financial director.

He joined the KLM management committee on 1st January 2005 before becoming Executive Vice President Financial Affairs KLM N.V.

In 2012, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer at Air France. 

In 2013, he was appointed Chairman and CEO of Air France.

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Franck Terner , Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Air France-KLM and Chief Executive Officer of Air France
Born 12 April 1960. Engineer, graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure Electronique et Application (ENSEA), the Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) and the Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) in Paris.

1988: Production engineer for Concorde

1989: In charge of scheduling and planning at the Maintenance Division

1992: In charge of production at repair workshops for on board equipment

1994: In charge of Concorde maintenance

1997: In charge of Light Maintenance at Orly

2000: In charge of Maintenance of the Air France medium-haul fleet

2002: Head of Aircraft Maintenance at Regional, Air France subsidiary

2007: Executive Vice President Operations and Support at Regional

2008: Chief Operating Officer at Regional

2010: Vice President Air France Industries

2013: Executive Vice-President Engineering and Maintenance Air France-KLM

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Pieter Elbers , Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Air France-KLM and President and CEO, KLM
Born in 1970 in Schiedam, The Netherlands. Pieter Elbers graduated at the Open University of Amsterdam (Master in Business Administration) and the Academy of Venlo (Bachelor in Logistics Management).

KLM President & CEO

Previous positions

  • KLM COO & KLM Deputy CEO
  • SVP Network & Alliances
  • VP Network Planning
  • General Manager KLM Japan & Korea 
  • General Manager KLM Mediterranean 

Supervisory Boards

  • Marfo B.V. (Food)
  • Transavia Airlines B.V.

Member of

  • Advisory Board of The National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR)
  • International Advisory Board of International Institute of Air & Space Law (IIASL)
  • College Dutch Aerospace/“Lucht- enRuimtevaart Nederland” (LRN)
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Patrick Alexandre , Executive Vice President Air France KLM, Commercial, Sales & Alliances
Born in France in 1955. Graduated from the Paris Institut d'Etudes Politiques and the Institut Supérieur des Affaires.

1981: junior executive in the Sudameris Bank

1982: Air France, junior executive in the Business Intelligence Department of the Scheduling Division

1984: Sales Manager for Italy

1988 - 1992: Personal Assistant to the Chairman

1992: General Manager for Switzerland, Austria and Central Europe, based in Geneva

1993: Vice President for Europe and North Africa, reporting to the Deputy CEO International Affairs

1994: Deputy Senior Vice President for Europe, followed by Senior Vice President in 1995

1996: Senior Vice President Air France Europe in charge of international sales

1998: Executive Vice President International Sales

2008: Chairman and CEO of Servair

2013: Executive Vice President - International and the Netherlands

On July 1st 2013, he is appointed Executive Vice-President Commercial, Sales and Marketing.

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Sonia Barrière , Executive Vice President Air France-KLM, Strategy & Innovation
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Sonia Barrière, a graduate of the top French Business school Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), is a specialist in Travel and Transportation, having held several international positions in strategy, sales & marketing, operations and technology in this sector.

Previously at Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), Sonia Barrière held the position of Vice President Traveler Services EMEA (operations) where she led global strategic, transformational and digitalization initiatives. Then, as Vice President Global Sales Effectiveness, she implemented a new global function aimed at improving performance and commercial efficiency. Finally, she led strategic initiatives for the group as Vice President Strategic Program.

Before joining CWT, Sonia Barrière spent 7 years with Avis Europe plc then Avis Budget Group. She was Director of Strategy for France and then Director of Strategy and Key Group Initiatives for Avis Europe plc based in the UK. She notably led strategy planning and the transformation programme and launched the car sharing venture. She was then in charge of the Marketing, Leisure Sales and Customer Relations activities for Western Europe.

Prior to these roles, Sonia Barrière held positions in France at a consulting boutique specialized in Supply Chain Management and in the US in the development of software at Sabre then at its spinoff logistics.com, then as an industrial engineer with Saint-Gobain.

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Alexandre Boissy , Secretary of the Group Executive Committee, Chief of Staff
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Born on 5 September 1973, Alexandre Boissy is a graduate of the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.
He joined Air France in 1999. He held the position of Air France Operations Research Manager from 2011 to 2014, then Air France-KLM Operations Research Manager as from 2014.

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Pieter Bootsma , Executive Vice President Air France KLM, Commercial & Revenue
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Pieter D. Bootsma (Netherlands, 1969) is 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 AF/KL. Mr Bootsma is managing 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 thru system development.

Mr Bootsma was nominated in KLM’s Executive Committee in 2011. Since

January 2013 Mr Bootsma has been nominated as member of the Air France KLM Executive Committee

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

Mr Bootsma has 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 holds worldwide responsibility for KLM’s Pricing & Revenue Management activities. In 2008 he was appointed as first responsible for both Air France and KLM in the area of Pricing & Revenue Management. In April 2011, he became responsible for Marketing, Revenue Management and Network (MRN) for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Since 2013 he holds similar responsibilities for the Air France KLM Group, including various commercially strategic relevant activities.

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

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René de Groot , Chief Operating Officer, KLM
René de Groot was born in 1969 in The Netherlands. He obtained his pilot license at the RLS in The Netherlands and completed an international management program at Darden Business School (USA). René de Groot is married and has three children.

In January 2015, René de Groot was appointed Chief Operating Officer of KLM. In this capacity, he is responsible for managing KLM's Passenger Activity.
In 2012, he was appointed Senior Vice President Operations at KLM Engineering & Maintenance.
From 1990 to 2012, René de Groot was a pilot for KLM. He was actively involved in the Dutch Airline Pilots Association, Vereniging van Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers, serving as its chairman for four years and member of the board for eleven years.

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Jean-Christophe Lalanne , Executive Vice President Air France KLM, Information Technology
Aged 57, a Telecom Paris engineer and an IAE Paris-Sorbonne graduate, Jean-Christophe Lalanne has devoted his entire career to the world of information technologies.

He has led numerous assignments in the area 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. 

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Anne-Sophie Le Lay , Corporate Secretary of the Air France-KLM group
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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 (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.

Since 2011 she has been 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.

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Marcel de Nooijer , Executive Vice President Air France KLM, Cargo
Marcel de Nooijer, 48 years old, holds a Business Administration and Management Degree from the Erasmus University (Rotterdam) and a Master of Science in Geology from Utrecht University.

Marcel de Nooijer, 48 years old, holds a Business Administration and Management Degree from the Erasmus University (Rotterdam) and a Master of Science in Geology from Utrecht University.

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

He was appointed General Manager South-East Asia and South-West Pacific at KLM from 2000 to 2003, Vice President EMEA KLM Cargo from 2003 to 2006, and Vice President Europe Air France-KLM Cargo from 2006 to 2009.

He subsequently took up the position of Vice President Commercial Europe and North Africa Air France-KLM from 2009 to 2012.

In 2013, Marcel de Nooijer was appointed as Managing Director at Martinair Holland and member of the KLM executive committee. Since November 2013, he has been Executive Vice President KLM Cargo.