Alitalia has gone outside the aviation industry for its new CEO, Gabriele Del Torchio, who has already taken up his duties. He takes over from Andrea Ragnetti, who left in February after the airline posted a net loss of €280 million ($370 million) for 2012, a sharp deterioration from a €69 million deficit in 2011.

Del Torchio was previously head of the Ducati motorcycle company and has had experience in sectors ranging from finance and construction machinery to luxury motor yachts. He holds a degree in economics.

Alitalia, which is 25% owned by Air France-KLM, felt the effects last year of a depressed Italian economy, which dampened demand for air travel.