In July 2020, one of the conditions of the Dutch government for the loans granted was that there should be no variable remuneration for executive management during the term of the loans. Earlier, at the start of the corona crisis, Elbers already decided to voluntarily hand in 20 percent of his salary for the rest of 2020.
Another government condition is that KLM employees who earn three times the average or more must forego at least 20 percent on the terms of employment. The return by the KLM management in 2021 (Elbers 47 percent, Swelheim and De Groot 34 percent) more than meets this requirement. Elbers arrived at a remuneration of 705,000 euros, Swelheim at 508,000 euros and De Groot at 494,000.
The pay ratio of the total annual remuneration of the CEO to the average annual remuneration of KLM employees was 8.1 in 2021. In 2019 this ratio was 11.7.
Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith, who did not have to surrender his variable remuneration, earned 4.3 million euros last year. That is more than six times as much as Elbers. Smith’s base salary was $900,000. But in addition, according to the company, he also earned variable compensation of almost 1.1 million euros. He has also been offered a share package of 2 million euros. Part of this will only be paid out once the state aid has been largely repaid.