Speculation about the future of Alitalia chief executive (CEO) Domenico Cempella continues, with reports that the Italian treasury, which controls a majority stake in the carrier, has appointed head-hunters to find a successor.

Names being touted as a possible replacement include Air Europe CEO Antonello Isabella, former IRI director general Pietro Ciucci, and Finmeccanica chief Alberto Lina. Paolo Scaroni, CEO of Pilkington, says he has been contacted but is not interested.

Cempella is under pressure because of Alitalia's poor financial performance, with large losses anticipated for last year, and its failure to secure a major European alliance. A compromise deal between Italy and the European Union over slot distribution at the Milan airports will also hurt Alitalia. The airline denies that Cempella is planning to leave.

Source: Flight International