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[Paris] KLM Royal Dutch Airlines said on Wednesday it had appointed Pieter Elbers as its chief executive, replacing Camiel Eurlings who is stepping down six months early.
Eurlings' current term for the role of running the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM was due to expire in April 2015.
The airline said he had decided "in joint consultation with the KLM supervisory board to withdraw with immediate effect as president and CEO in order to pave the way for his successor".
It gave no further reasons for the decision.
Air France-KLM is restructuring its Transavia budget airline subsidiaries in France and the Netherlands as part of plans to fend off competition from low-cost rivals in Europe.
The plan led to a two-week strike by Air France pilots last month, the longest at the airline since 1998.
Elbers, 44, was most recently the chief operating officer and deputy CEO of KLM where he started his career in 1992. He is also a member of the Air France-KLM executive committee. REUTERS