Alitalia chairman says search for new CEO under way, confirms break-even goal for 2013

The chairman of Italian airline Alitalia has told managers that it plans to break even this year as it begins its search for a new chief executive following Andrea Ragnetti’s resignation in February.

Ragnetti submitted his resignation after just one year in the job as the company announced losses of €280 million ($364 million) for last year.

Alitalia said in a statement Friday that Chairman Roberto Colaninno has confirmed the goal of breaking even on an operating level year while maintaining a sustainable cash position. Colaninno described 2012 as one of the worst for European airlines. Alitalia registered a 4.6 per cent drop in passengers through its Rome hub last year.

Alitalia was taken over in 2009 by a group of Italian investors after its 62 years as a state-run company.