August 16, 2018 / 6:14 PM / 10 months ago

RPT-Air France KLM names Air Canada exec Smith as CEO

(Repeats with Air France RIC, no changes in text)

PARIS, Aug 16 (Reuters) - The board of Air France-KLM named Air Canada executive Benjamin Smith as its new chief executive on Thursday, opting for an outsider to try and steer the group through a fraught stand-off with unions at its French carrier.

Smith, until now the Canadian airline’s chief operating officer, will take up his new job at Air France-KLM at the latest by September 30, the company said in a statement.

His appointment comes more than three months after Jean-Marc Janaillac stepped down as CEO after staff rejected a pay deal intended to end a wave of costly strikes at Air France. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq Editing by Sarah White)

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