MILAN, April 18 Italian airline Alitalia has
appointed Gabriele del Torchio, head of Italian motorcycle maker
Ducati, as its new chief executive, the company said on
Del Torchio, known as a turnaround expert, has been assigned
all operational responsibilities, it said in a statement.
He will replace Andrea Ragnetti, who quit after only a year
in the job in February after the struggling airline company
posted a 2012 net loss of 280 million euros ($365 million) which
had deepened from 69 million euros in 2011.
Alitalia, which is 25 percent owned by Air France-KLM
, suffered last year from a drop in demand for air
travel amid the euro zone debt crisis and recession in Italy.
The airline said a shareholders' meeting will take place on
Alitalia was rescued from bankruptcy in 2008, when it was
bought by a consortium of Italian companies including Intesa
Sanpaolo, road operator Atlantia and IMMSI
, which also controls scooter maker Piaggio.
Air France-KLM, which has held its stake in Alitalia since
January 2009, has said it will probably wait until at least 2014
before using an option to take control of the airline.
($1 = 0.7668 euros)
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)