Emirates’ Executive Rejects Air France-KLM CEO Position


Stories by Demola Ojo

Emirates’ chief commercial officer Thierry Antinori declined an offer to be chief executive at Air France-KLM Group, saying he preferred to stay with the Dubai-based airline.

“I’ve been contacted but I’m not interested,” Mr Antinori told reporters in Dubai on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market conference. “If I stay in the airline industry, which I love, understand and want to stay in, the best possibility to work is for this brand.” Air France-KLM is looking to replace CEO Alexandre De Juniac, who said this month he was leaving after almost three years of wrangling with pilots over costs. Mr De Juniac is set to leave by August 1 to run the International Air Transport Association lobby group. Europe’s biggest airline must press on with restructuring plans if it’s to compete with low-cost carriers such as EasyJet in Europe and Gulf operators led by Emirates on long-haul routes, Mr De Juniac said after announcing his exit.

Mr Antinori began his career in the airline industry with Air France and later joined Deutsche Lufthansa before signing on with Emirates in 2011 as an executive vice president for passenger sales worldwide, according to the Emirates web page.

SAA Celebrates 10 Years as Star Alliance Member

South African Airways (SAA) this month celebrates a decade as member of Star Alliance, the world’s oldest, most experienced global airline alliance.

According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia, SAA was the first African airline to join the global network in 2006, providing other Alliance partners access to SAA’s extensive route network within South Africa and the rest of the African continent:

“We gave Star Alliance its first strategic foothold in Africa, now recognised as one of the most significant growth markets for international trade and aviation,” Tim said today. “Over the past ten years we have carried many thousands of Star Alliance members on their journey across the world’s most exciting continent including a great many from Australia,” Tim said. Star Alliance was founded with five member airlines in 1997. Today its membership totals 28, including three African airlines.

SAA’s membership in Star offers customers a host of advantages, ranging from access to the extended (Alliance) global network and worldwide benefits such as lounge access for passengers travelling in Business Class or with Voyager Lifetime Platinum, Platinum, or Gold status, which equals Star Alliance Gold status.

Etihad Launches iPhone App

Etihad Airways has launched a new iPhone app allowing users to book tickets, check-in, view the status of their flight and navigate Abu Dhabi airport using indoor maps.

Customers can check-in for their flight by scanning their passport page into the app, and similarly can pay for flights by scanning their credit card, eliminating the need to enter payment information manually. Users can compare multiple fare choices and upgrade options within the app, and can view all past and upcoming trips.