Etihad’s 49% purchase of Alitalia was cleared by the European Commission on Friday.
The European Commissions rubber stamp is the final hurdle to the purchase that was announced in August, in which Etihad is to pump €387.5 million into the airline.
For Eithad, this is the news its been waiting for as allows them to further expand in Europe, without committing their own aircraft. Meanwhile for Alitalia, it’s another chance of survival – something it has been continuing to fight for many years. Considering Alitalia hasn’t made a profit since 2002, there is a priority to turn the airline around.
For the staff of Alitalia who are still around – there will be heavy cuts in the numbers of them as they try to reduce the bills the airline faces.
In terms of slot/route sacrifices, only the route between Rome and Belgrade will have slots released – otherwise, Etihad-Alitalia will have to make
Eithad owns minority stakes in lots of airlines including Aer Lingus, airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and for the airline – it’s another stepping stone in Europe.
Now, to leverage that European base and try to turn that airline around. Therein – is the real challenge.
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