Italy picks former Poste Italiane CEO to head re-nationalised Alitalia

FILE PHOTO: Poste Italiane Chief Executive Officer Francesco Caio gestures during the opening of the initial public offering at the Milan's stock exchange, Italy, October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) - The Italian government has picked former Poste Italiane PST.MI CEO Francesco Caio as Chairman of Alitalia, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said, as the carrier prepares to return under state control after 11 years of private management.

Fabio Lazzerini, who is currently serving as the carrier’s Chief Business Officer, will be appointed Chief Executive, Conte said in a post on his Facebook account.

In March the government was forced to cancel a planned sale of the airline as Alitalia’s deep-rooted financial problems were exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis that has devastated the global airline industry.

Airline traffic, in terms of number of kilometres travelled by paying passengers, is expected to fall by at least 65% this year compared with 2019 as a consequence of the health crisis, AlixPartners consultancy firm estimates.

Reporting by Francesca Landini and Giuseppe Fonte