Economist Luis Pablo Ceriani will be the new president of state-owned airline Aerolíneas Argentinas, Alberto Fernández's new Cabinet chief has confirmed.
Rumours about Ceriani's appointment have circulated in recent days. Santiago Cafiero confirmed the decision to the Radio La Red radio station on Wednesday.
Ceriani is not a new face to the firm, nor the unions. A former vice-president at Aerolíneas under Mariano Recalde, from 2013 to 2015, he has held various offices with the airline.
He first joined the company in 2009, when the new Buenos Aires Province governor, Axel Kicillof, was the firm's CEO. The two had a previous working relationship from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), where both economists served as professors in the Economics Department. One year later, in 2010, Ceriani was appointed Aerolíneas' economic and financial manager.
In 2006, Ceriani worked in the Chamber of Deputies as an advisor to ex-Partido Justicialista (Justicialist Party, PJ) lawmaker Héctor Recalde.
Aerolíneas' new boss is said to have good relations with the unions, with one unnamed source telling Infobae on Wednesday that Ceriani "is a very good technician, with a low profile" who focuses on "dialogue." Pilots unions have staged regular work-outs over the past year.
Last week, Ceriani attended a labour meeting at the headquarters of the Association of Aeronautical Technical Personnel (APTA), where union leader Ricardo Cirielli's mandate as secretary-general was renewed.
At that event, Cirielli said he would "actively collaborate" with Argentina's new officials, acknowledging that the Mauricio Macri administration had left the firm "in a very complicated situation structurally," criticised the lack of "renewal" under the outgoing government.
The union leader also called for Alberto Fernández's government to stop what he saw as the ""privileging [of] foreign companies, to the detriment of public and private national [companies]."
For now, the state airline remains under the leadership of current chief Luis Malvido, who has already submitted a letter of resignation. He awaits the official designation of Ceriani as his replacement.
According to reports in economic outlets, Argentina's flagship carrier is expected to post a deficit over over US$300 million this year.