SPANISH new entrant Ilsa has appointed Mr Simone Gorini as its new CEO, replacing Mr Fabrizio Favara who has been appointed chief strategy corporate officer at Italian State Railways (FS).

Favara will remain on the board of directors of the new Spanish high-speed operator, which is owned by Air Nostrum (55%) and Trenitalia (45%). In his new role, Favara will report to FS CEO Mr Luigi Ferraris.

Gorini has more than 20 years’ experience in the rail industry, all with FS, and since 2017 has been the director responsible for the Lazio region of Italy.

The open access operator intends to start operating an hourly service on the Madrid - Barcelona - French border, Madrid - Valencia - Alicante and Madrid - Seville/Malaga high-speed lines from the second half of 2022 and is aiming for a 30% share of the Spanish high-speed market.

The first Hitachi ETR 1000 train has begun certification testing in Madrid, with two more due to be delivered from Pistoia, where they are being manufactured, before the end of 2021. Ilsa has also agreed a €737m maintenance contract with Hitachi for its trains and this begins next year.

For an interview with former Ilsa CEO Fabrizio Favara, see the February edition of IRJ, or click here.