Alitalia chairman expects profit next year

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Outgoing Alitalia chairman Roberto Colaninno says he is "confident" the struggling airline will turn a profit next year.

After operating in the context of the "greatest economic and financial crisis in history" over the past few years, Alitalia will report positive results in 2014 when the "company will reach a level of operating maturity" thanks to the restructuring plan initiated in 2009, he predicts.

"Alitalia has also seen the arrival and departure of three chief executives during this period and been faced with a level of intense competitive pressure on a deregulated national and international market that would be hard to imagine in any other industry," he says.

Colaninno says he will not seek another senior position at Alitalia after stepping down following completion of the carrier's new financing package, but will remain as a board director and a major shareholder through his holding in the Immsi group.

"I am confident that, consistently with my commitment as an entrepreneur and the ethical stance I have always held throughout my long career, I have contributed, to the best of my physical and financial abilities, to this important process for the rescue of a great Italian company," he says.

Colaninno also sees his Alitalia chairmanship as having been "instrumental in the company’s industrial and strategic transformation", enabling it to build a "positive relationship" with shareholder Air France-KLM.