Meridiana (IG, Olbia) parent firm, Meridiana SpA, will resume operating under its previous name, Alisarda SpA, with effect from December 17 owner the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) has announced. From 1963 up until 1999 when it merged with with Fimpar SpA, Meridiana was known as Alisarda.

According to the ItaliaVola blog, the change will distinguish the holding firm from its other subsidiaries which incorporate the name "Meridiana" into their title - Meridiana fly in particular.

Meanwhile, three former Meridiana CEOs - Massimo Chieli, Giuseppe Gentile, and Roberto Scaramella - have been placed under investigation by Sardinian authorities in connection with the carrier's ongoing, if controversial, restructuring programme.

Italy's ANSA news wire says on the instruction of the General Attorney of Tempio, Domenico Fiordalisi, the Guardia di Finanza last week raided the offices of Meridiana, Meridiana fly, and Air Italy (2005).

A group of employees, understood to be among the 1'600 employees slated to be laid off as part of cost cutting measures, accuse the three CEOs of serious financial misconduct prejudicial to the airlines' operations. They claim the airline was financially stable enough to acquire Air Italy, an Italian charter airline, in October 2011 despite claiming to the Italian Finance Ministry and pension service that Meridiana was in a state of financial distress.

Of the three, Massimo Chieli was CEO until July 2011, while Giuseppe Gentile, who is also a co-founder of Air Italy, was head until early 2013 when he handed over to Roberto Scaramella, who himself resigned three weeks ago. Also under investigation is Meridiana SpA holding company president Marco Rigotti.