Cramer Ball, the current CEO of India’s Jet Airways, will take up the same position with Alitalia next year.
Following a shareholder meeting this week, the Alitalia board officially appointed Ball as the company’s new CEO, following the resignation of Silvano Cassano in September. Ball will take over at the Italian national carrier in early March 2016.
“I believe Cramer is the right person to continue leading the development and implementation of our industrial plan which is now well in motion,” said Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Alitalia’s chairman. “His proven abilities with transforming companies to success made him, among the many excellent candidates, the right choice for us.”
Ball, 48, has more than 20 years of aviation experience. Following a career with Etihad Airways, he took over as CEO of Air Seychelles in 2012 and moved to Mumbai two years later to head up Jet, following Etihad’s investment in the Indian carrier.
At both Air Seychelles and Jet, Ball oversaw significant turnaround strategies, and he will be tasked with a similar undertaking at Alitalia.
Etihad acquired a 49% stake in the Italian flag carrier in 2014 and has embarked on a restructuring plan that will see the airline launch new routes and revamp its fleet, with the aim of returning to profitability by 2017.