Aviation Industry

The CEO of the oldest airline in the world explains the major mistake the industry made 20 years ago


In continuous operation since 1919, KLM Royal Dutch is the oldest airline in the world. It’s a venerable brand known for its service and iconic blue planes.

Since 2014, Pieter Elbers has been the man tasked with leading the Dutch national airline into the future. Elbers joined KLM in 1992 as an aircraft loading supervisor before moving up the company’s management ladder. Today, the charismatic 47-year-old leads an airline with 33,000 employees and $12 billion in annual revenue.

Recently, Elbers sat down with Business Insider at our headquarters in New York. Our conversation touched upon several topics including the Air France-KLM union, competition in the marketplace, and travel tips.

The state of Air France-KLM
In 2004, KLM merged with Air France to form one of Europe’s largest and most powerful aviation conglomerates with a fleet of more than 530 planes that carry more than 93 million passengers annually.

Due to labor issues and the hyper-competitive nature of the Europe’s commercial aviation industry, things have not always been easy for Air France-KLM. However, the company has recovered nicely, reporting a $1.2 billion through the first three quarters of this year.

“What I share with my staff is that we aren’t following the book on consolidation, we are writing the book on consolidation,” Elbers said. “And sure sometimes we have to make changes or reverse some earlier decisions, it’s nice to play a role in it”…

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Fuente: http://www.businessinsider.com/klm-ceo-pieter-elbers-interview-2017-11

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