The Frenchman a 'hardliner' in Human relations terms, helped Europe's second largest airline group return to profit in 2015, the first time since 2008, but his 4-year term as Chairman prevoked open hostility with pilots and cabin crew.
KLM optimistically said it was hoping to appoint Juniac's replacement by August 1st this year, at the latest.
Juniac took charge at Air France in 2011, and appointed chairman of Air France-KLM a year later.
He leaves the company in a fragile financial position, but 'on the track to recovery', it faces increasingly tough competition from several directions - Gulf-based competitors for long-haul high-end business and by low-cost rivals for short-haul market share. Air France-KLM sent into freefall by the unexpected news.
The return to profit, flagged up in February, was after a major restructuring to boost productivity and a bitter 2014 strike by Air France pilots, one of the longest in the company's history.
The Air France dispute was highlighted after images of two of its executives, with their shirts ripped by staff, flashed worldwide, in an angry protest over redundancies, last October.
Management this January proposed a new 2017-20 growth plan to include around 1,600 voluntary departures, by the end of next year, claimed union sources.
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