DALLAS – ITA Airways’ (AZ) board of directors has confirmed its decision to strip Chairman Alfredo Altavilla of his powers. The airline’s operations have now officially been handed over to Chief Executive Fabio Maria Lazzerini.
The move followed a vote on October 12 to remove key responsibilities from Altavilla, including his ability to pursue alliance deals. Tensions have been mounting in the boardroom of the state-owned airline between Altavilla and the government-appointed directors. AZ is currently attempting to progress with a planned sale.
Some on the airline’s board blamed Altavilla for holding up negotiations with US private equity fund Certares, who have entered exclusive talks in purchasing AZ.
Certares is part of a consortium joined by the Air France/KLM Group and Delta Air Line (DL), who are looking to pay €350m (US$339m) for a 50% stake in the troubled airline.
The Italian government was forced to extend the takeover discussion through October after failing to meet a September 30 deadline.
In a statement, the airline said, “The board of directors reiterated that the company’s main task is to remain focused on the industrial plan, continuing along the road taken that is providing better results than expected, with the aim of consolidating the relaunch of ITA Airways and protecting the company’s workers.”
Featured Image: ITA Airways Airbus Airbus A319 (EI-IMN). Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways