The French American Chamber of Commerce
has named Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM, as its
2004 Person of the Year for his exemplary contributions to French-American
business relations. The Award
The Award was presented to Mr. Spinetta on November 15, 2004 at a ceremony
in New York City. The Person of the Year Award was created in 1984 to
honor executives and their companies that have contributed to the
development of strong trade relations between France and the United
States. Mr. Spinetta is the 21st honoree of this award.
“The North Atlantic corridor has been, and continues to be, the virtual
backbone of the Air France global network,” said Mr. Spinetta, accepting
the award. “This ongoing commitment reflects the long history of our
presence in the U.S. marketplace.”
In addition, Mr. Spinetta discussed plans to expand the airline’s presence
in the U.S. by increasing capacity with additional flights from New York,
a third daily flight from Washington and, in the very near future, by
opening new gateways including Detroit.
“We are honored to recognize Jean-Cyril Spinetta for his unrelenting
vision and determination that ensured the growth of Air France-KLM into
one of the leading global airlines amidst challenging times in the airline
industry,” said Serge Bellanger, president, French American Chamber of
Commerce. “Mr. Spinetta has demonstrated his commitment to furthering
French-American commercial development by expanding the airline’s reach in
the U.S. and building strategic partnerships through the SkyTeam alliance.”
Building Ties between The U.S. and Europe
Under Mr. Spinetta’s direction, Air France has established its position as
a global leader in the airline industry. He was recently responsible for
bringing Air France into the merger that created the number one airline
group in terms of revenue, Air France-KLM. Additionally, Mr. Spinetta was
one of the principle architects of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.
With three U.S. carriers, Delta Air Lines, Continental and Northwest,
SkyTeam is now one of the world’s leading and fasting growing alliances.
Currently Chairman of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA)
Board of Governors for the period 2004 - 2005, Mr. Spinetta also served as
Chairman of the Association of European Airlines in 2001.