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Amid Internal Tensions, ITA Airways Board Removes its Executive President
In a brief statement this Thursday, ITA Airways’ — the Italian State-owned airline that is the effective successor of Alitalia — confirmed that the company’s Executive President, Alfredo Altavilla, was stripped of “all [of its] powers” in the airline by the airline’s board of directors.
Altavilla had been running the airline from the start, serving as the Italian Government’s bet, after a successful record of accomplishment in the automobile industry.
The move had been in the making for some weeks now, the move being “ordered by a resolution on October 12”. Now, the press release adds, “the attribution of those powers [goes] to the Chief Executive Officer Fabio Maria Lazzerini”.
Corriere della Sera’s aviation journalist Leonard Berberi reported, on the 12th, that the situation between Altavilla had its breaking point when Altavilla refused to give “sensible”, “route-by-route” profitability information to the consortium headed by private equity fund Certares. The situation between Altavilla, the board and Lazzerini was already difficult for months.
Certares is leading the privatization efforts of ITA Airways, and the sale has the commercial participation of Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM. Effectively, the move will give Lazzerini control of the privatization process — and to the granting of information to Certares.
“The Board of Directors”, finished the short announcement, titled only “ITA Airways Press release” or “NOTA STAMPA” [sic] in the Italian version, “reiterated that the Company’s main task is to remain focused on the industrial plan, continuing along the road taken that is providing better results than expected, with the aim of consolidating the relaunch of ITA Airways and protecting the company’s workers who have taken the challenge”.
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