Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Audio – Air France-KLM CEO sees some unfriendly skies ahead

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The state of the airline industry and travel overall is not poised for a rapid takeoff in 2009 and looks like it will remain in rough shape until next year, said Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, chief executive of Air France-KLM, on Monday at the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit.

The head of Europe’s largest airline, who became CEO in January, said he was unsure when things would turn around, but warned that both passenger and cargo metrics were down for the airline.

Gourgeon also said that while there is still some business travel out there, many passengers are trading down from more expensive, high-end to coach, or less expensive travel.

Gourgeon was one of the featured speakers at the summit, which continues through Wednesday in our New York headquarters. The Summit program is in its fifth year, and in 2009 will include top-level executives from  industries and sectors including everything from Infrastructure; to Mining; to Investing in India, China, Japan and Russia; to Food and Beverages.

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