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.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at [email protected]; Deena Kamel Yousef in Dubai, UAE at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vidya Root at [email protected]; Chris Reiter at [email protected] Christopher Jasper

This article was written by Tommaso Ebhardt and Deena Kamel Yousef from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Tags: alitalia, etihad
Photo Credit: After the abrupt departure of Silvano Cassano as CEO in September 2015, Alitalia named Cramer Ball of Jet Airways as Alitalia's new CEO. Alitalia