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The groups likely needs a Willie Walsh type. Too bad there are very few Willies out there.

Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer Thierry Antinori declined an offer to be chief executive officer at Air France-KLM Group, saying he preferred to stay with the Dubai-based airline.

“I’ve been contacted but I’m not interested,” Antinori told reporters in Dubai on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market conference. “If I stay in the airline industry, which I love, understand and want to stay in, the best possibility to work is for this brand.”

Air France-KLM is looking to replace CEO Alexandre De Juniac, who said this month he was leaving after almost three years of wrangling with pilots over costs. De Juniac is set to leave by Aug. 1 to run the International Air Transport Association lobby group.

Europe’s biggest airline must press on with restructuring plans if it’s to compete with low-cost carriers such as EasyJet Plc in Europe and Gulf operators led by Emirates on long-haul routes, De Juniac said after announcing his exit.

Antinori began his career in the airline industry with Air France and later joined Deutsche Lufthansa AG before signing on with Emirates in 2011 as an executive vice president for passenger sales worldwide, according to Emirates web page.

©2016 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Deena Kamel Yousef from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Tags: air france/klm, emirates airlines, execs

Photo Credit: A KLM plane in Amsterdam. The Air France-KLM Group is looking for a new leader. Patrick DeLang / KLM