Former Ferrari boss Luca Cordero di Montezemolo will become chairman of Italian airline Alitalia with Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan as his deputy in the new company that will be formed when the Italian airline ties up with the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, two sources close to the matter told the Reuters news agency.  

The sources said the two had not been formally appointed because the deal, under which Etihad has agreed to buy 49% of money-losing Alitalia as part of a EUR1.76bn (US$2.2bn) rescue plan, still needs approval from European authorities to be officially signed off.

"Yesterday, the board of the old Alitalia designated Montezemolo and Hogan who will eventually be nominated by the board of the new company," one of the sources told Reuters.

Alitalia and Etihad declined to comment.

Reuters noted that Montezemolo left Ferrari last month after he clashed with Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Montezemolo agreed to a severance package valued at about $35m that included a non-compete agreement until 2017.