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Alitalia CEO Wants 5-Star Airline With Flair Backed by Etihad

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Alitalia Wants Airline With Flair Backed by Etihad

When Silvano Cassano was offered a chance last year to go back to running a company after working as a consultant, he told himself, “if it’s in Italy, no thanks.”

Today, he oversees not just any company, he’s agreed to take on one of Italy’s biggest corporate turnarounds: Alitalia SpA. After decades of losses and defecting customers, Cassano is making a last-ditch effort to rebuild the national carrier. His plan: dropping unprofitable short-haul routes in favor of intercontinental flights, upgrading technology and pampering customers with better food and seats.