The chief executive of Italian airline Alitalia quit after only a year in the job on Monday as the struggling company reported a net loss of 280 million euros (244 million pounds) in 2012.
Alitalia, 25 percent owned by Air France-KLM , said demand for air travel had suffered last year because of the financial crisis in the euro zone and recession in Italy.
Chief Executive Andrea Ragnetti had left the company by mutual agreement, the company said. A former marketing executive with Telecom Italia and Philips, he joined Alitalia in February 2012 and took on the CEO role in March.
Pending the appointment of a new CEO, Chairman Roberto Colaninno has been given additional powers, Alitalia said.
The net loss had deepened from 69 million euros in 2011, the deficit swollen by 91 million euros of extraordinary costs related to depreciation, maintenance and sales of aircraft as the company completed the renewal of its fleet.
In a sign of improving performance, Alitalia said it had broken even at the operating level in the last three months of last year. Its load factor - a measure of how full its planes are - increased to 74.6 percent in 2012 from 72.8 percent the previous year.
Shareholders on Friday approved plans to lend the company up to 150 million euros.
Alitalia was rescued by a consortium that bought the then-bankrupt airline in 2008. Air France-KLM has held its stake since January 2009 and has said it will probably wait until at least until 2014 before using an option to take control of the airline.
(Reporting By Stephen Jewkes; Editing by M.D. Golan)