Boss Air France-KLM is Promised 2 Million Euros in Shares

Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, was promised a “stock bonus” worth 2 million euros last year, on top of his fixed salary of 744,511 euros.


The Canadian’s base salary was cut by 25 percent from March 23, the airline’s annual report.

The share plan is a long-term variable compensation that requires Smith to meet specific predetermined goals. It is also up to the shareholders to approve. A spokeswoman for Air France-KLM emphasizes that no shares have yet been paid out and that this will only happen in 2023, provided the targets have been met. The question, she says, is whether this will be met at all due to the impact of the corona crisis

Smith was also reimbursed just under € 296,000 in expenses to use a driver and training allowances. Smith also moved to France for his job at Air France-KLM, for which he was also partly compensated. The standard variable bonus of the CEO was cancelled due to the corona crisis.

According to the Dutch company’s annual report, no short-term bonuses and long-term variable remuneration were paid at KLM. Also, the directors of the Dutch society, just like the staff, handed in salary.

The salary of KLM CEO Pieter Elbers was 535,185 euros last year. Total remuneration was 45 percent lower than a year earlier. Other KLM directors such as operational director René de Groot and financial director Erik Swelheim received more than a third less.

Due to the corona crisis, Air France-KLM, like many industry peers, got into trouble. Travel restrictions and virus fear forced many aircraft to the ground. France and the Netherlands came to the rescue with loans and credit guarantees. Initially, it involved EUR 10.4 billion.

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