Former Alitalia chiefs handed jail terms

Former Alitalia chiefs handed jail terms
Giancarlo Cimoli, who was Alitalia CEO between 2004 and 2007, was given a jail term of eight years and eight months. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
Two former chief executives of Italy’s flagship airline, Alitalia, were sentenced to jail on Monday after being convicted of wrongdoing linked to the carrier’s bankruptcy in 2008.

Giancarlo Cimoli, who was CEO from 2004 to 2007, received an eight year and eight month sentence for culpable bankruptcy, on top of a €240,000 fine, while Francesco Mengozzi, who led the company between 2001 and 2004, got five years.

Two former financial directors – Gabriele Spazzadeschi and Pierluigi Ceschia – were also handed jail terms by the Rome court of more than six years for their role in the bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, three other former managers – Giancarlo Zeni, Leopoldo Conforti and Gennaro Tocci – were acquitted.

Alitalia struggled to recover from the 2008 bankruptcy despite Air France-KLM buying a 25 percent stake in the carrier a year later.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad came to the rescue last year, investing €560 million in a multi-level deal comprising a 49 percent equity stake in the airline and a 75 percent stake in its loyalty programme, MilleMiglia.

Etihad’s commitment was the largest part of a broader investment with other stakeholders, which totalled €860 million. The investment is expected to help the airline return to profitability in 2017.

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