Alitalia SpA named Cramer Ball of India’s Jet Airways as its new chief executive officer, succeeding Silvano Cassano, who quit in September less than a year into running a critical cog of leading shareholder Etihad Airways PJSC’s expansion into Europe.
Ball was appointed Thursday by Alitalia’s board and will take over in March, the Rome-based company said in a statement. Jet Airways, in which Etihad has a 24 percent stake, said earlier that the 48-year-old had resigned “for family reasons” to pursue a new opportunity in Europe.
Alitalia is targeting a return to profit by 2017 following the tie-up with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad. The revamp of the Italian carrier is a crucial part of the Gulf No. 2’s efforts to tap European traffic via a network of affiliates that also includes Air Berlin Plc and Air Serbia.
“Cramer is the right person to continue leading the development and implementation of our industrial plan, which is now well in motion,” Alitalia chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said in the release.
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