Fabio Maria Lazzerini and Francesco Caio lead Alitalia's rebirth

25 November 2020 Consultancy.eu 2 min. read
More news on

Italian national carrier Alitalia has appointed Fabio Maria Lazzerini as its new CEO and former McKinsey & Company consultant Francesco Caio as its new Chairman.

The double appointment comes on the back of Alitalia’s re-nationalisation strategy, which will see the majority of the current Alitalia come under state ownership. According to a press statement by the airline, the new Alitalia will include 75 aircraft and 7,000 employees on payroll, down from the current 92 aircraft and over 11,000 people. 

Upon formation, the new company [registered as ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo] will receive a cash injection of up to €3 billion from the Italian government. Much needed, because troubled private management over the past decade had seen the airline’s finances nosedive. Following two failed restructuring attempts and potentials takeover deals with the Italian railways and Lufthansa falling through, the state had no other option to (again) regain control of the carrier.

Fabio Maria Lazzerini and Francesco Caio, AlitaliaThe airliner is currently working on a range of strategic and operational steps needed to formalise the transition. First, a business plan of the NewCo – developed in collaboration with Oliver Wyman – will have to be submitted to the Transport Commission for approval. 

The next step will be to adhere to a number of requirements from the European Commission. One major hurdle will be to receive green light for the state funding – Alitalia will have to pass the “conditio sine qua non” imposed by the antitrust authorities in Brussels to approve the financing from the government and rule out an infraction procedure for illegal state aid. 

In order to satisfy the requirements, Italia Trasporto Aereo has to purchase Alitalia’s assets including logo, the flight codes, the frequent flier program MilleMiglia and Alitalia’s slots at airports for a fair value. According to reporting by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, airline experts have estimated the cost of this transaction to be over €220 million. 

ITA will further have to receive Air Operator’s Certificates (AOC) and ticketing codes, among others. Leading this complex transformation are two experience Italian executives: Fabio Maria Lazzerini and Francesco Caio.

Lazzerini has been with the national carrier since 2017 in the role of Chief Business Officer and has now been elevated to the top role. The 63-year-old Caio is a former consultant at McKinsey & Company (1986 to 1991) who more recently held leadership roles at Lehman Brothers, Nomura and Italian Post. Over the past years he was an important economic consultant to the Italian government, including advising Stefano Patuanelli on the future of the Italian steel plant Ilva in Taranto.