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ITA Airways Board of Directors Elected, Awaiting Lufthansa Additions
A few days ago in Fiumicino at the operational headquarters of the Italian airline ITA Airways, the airline’s Shareholders’ Meeting was held, under the chairmanship of Antonino Turicchi, to renew the Board of Directors and the Board of Statutory Auditors, whose mandate had expired.
In a statement, the airline said that its new Board of Directors has been restricted from five to three directors as per agreements between the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance and the German group Lufthansa. The German airline will have two directors of its own, one of whom with the role of CEO.
It is good to remember that, at the present date, ITA Airways is still wholly-owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. Lufthansa will buy 41% of ITA Airways for €325 million, with the option to acquire the remaining shares later, perhaps even 90-100% by 2033. It is imperative to remember that the privatization process is still contingent upon the approval of the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Union.
ITA Airways has been a SkyTeam member since its inception in October 2021. However, former CEO Lazzerini had already confirmed in May that the airline will leave the Skyteam alliance for entry into Star Alliance. a process that will take about a year.
The new Chairman of ITA Airways is Antonino Turicchi, previously a member of the Board of Directors of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Leonardo, Alitalia, Autostrade per l’Italia S.p.A., and a member of the Supervisory Board of STMicroelectronics. Since December 2019, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of Fintecna S.p.A. He is currently Chairman of Gardant SGR S.p.A., the Gardant Group’s asset management company specializing in investment solutions for institutional investors.
Valeria Vaccaro and Francesco Spada have been elected directors, while the Board of Statutory Auditors has been reconfirmed. Andrea Benassi, current Chief Network, Fleet, and Alliances Officer, will assume the position of General Manager. At the same time, Francesco Presicce, the former Chief Technology Officer, has been appointed Accountable Manager of ITA Airways.
The Board of Directors of the Italian airline also approved the termination of the employment relationship with Fabio Maria Lazzerini, its former CEO and General Manager.
Plans and fleet
Lazzerini, last May, confirmed that the merger with Miles & More (Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program) would not take place and that Volare would remain the loyalty program of ITA Airways. However, the German group will appoint the new CEO of the Italian airline, and it has yet to be seen which changes will come along with that. Volare has over one million members, but only 40% use frequent flyer benefits.
After 2025, the German group expects another investment of around €450 million, and the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance could retain only 10% or a representative on the board of directors. ITA Airways’ business plan envisages revenue growth of €2.5 billion in 2023 and €4.1 billion expected in 2027.
With the German group, the goal is to reach a fleet of 94 aircraft with 5,500 employees. ITA Airways’ fleet currently consists of 71 aircraft in service, with an average age of 8 and a half years.
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