ITA Airways appoints new chairman

ITA Airways, born from the ashes of Alitala, has a new president, Antonino Turicchi, and has reduced the number of members of its board of directors, the Ministry of Economy announced on Wednesday.

The predecessor of Mr. Turicchi, Alfredo Altavilla, resigned a week ago with a bang after being twice disavowed by the Italian state, 100% shareholder of the airline.

Antonino Turicchi was managing director of the Italian Caisse des dépôts (CDP) from 2002 to 2009. He is currently CEO of the holding company Fintecna, which specializes in the management of state holdings in companies.

Fabio Lazzerini has been confirmed as general manager. The number of board members has been reduced from nine to five.

Mr. Altavilla had resigned after being accused of obstructing the sale of ITA Airways to the American investment fund Certares, associated with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines, whose offer had been pre-selected at the end of August by the former government of Mario Draghi.

Mr. Altavilla had never hidden his preference for the competing offer submitted by Lufthansa and the Italian-Swiss shipowner MSC.

Faced with the lack of progress in negotiations with Certares, the new Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti announced at the end of October his decision not to renew the period of exclusivity, thus putting MSC and Lufthansa back on track.

Certares was ready to pay 350 million euros to acquire 50% plus one share of ITA Airways, leaving the remaining share to the Italian State, allowing it to continue to influence strategic decisions concerning the national company.

The German group Lufthansa said at the beginning of November “still interested” in taking over ITA, as long as it is a “genuine privatization of the airline”.

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