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Chris Bryant

Air France Staff Should Look in the Mirror

Some home truths for the airline’s employees.



Photographer: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

To lose one CEO may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness. The resignation of Jean-Marc Janaillac on Friday after less than two years in the job is likely to do lasting damage to the Franco-Dutch carrier’s image with customers and investors.

Janaillac’s refusal to bow to employees’ unreasonable pay demands is admirable — see here for more on why I think the carrier can’t afford big pay rises — but his departure leaves morale in tatters and the company’s strategic path forward uncertain. “Trust Together,” Janaillac’s plan to rebuild the airline’s competitiveness and labor relations through consensus, has been exposed as wishful thinking. Shareholders will be inclined to think that “Distrust, Forever” is much the better approach.