In news that should be filed as “well, we couldn’t see that coming <sarcastic sigh>” it seems the Italian Government wants to save Alitalia, by re-nationalising it in a 51%/49% deal with some unsuspecting airline.
I’m going to be honest, I’ve pretty much who has lost track trying to revive this airline. Air France-KLM got burned badly, and walked away from its holding, then Etihad tried to make it work with new uniforms… except the staff didn’t like the changes and voted them down (and thus Etihad pulling the plug).
The airline is currently in bankruptcy protection. Again.
The big question is this: Is it worth saving?
I’m going to be nasty. Aliatlia has problems. It desperately needs to restructure to give itself time to sort itself out as the old structure clearly isn’t working – no matter what
And that will involve union involvement – the thing that had brought down Etihad’s rescue of the airline.
With Air Italy (ex Meridiana) beginning to assert itself, and trying to develop its own identity (and after its own customers), Alitalia’s share being torn away at the bottom by low-cost carriers, and Lufthansa group circling from above – Alitalia has very few friends and places to go to get money.
And whilst Alitalia has a proud history one thing is certain – the airline cannot continue in its current form.
Currently, the airline seems to be the most efficient way of turning millions of Euros into debt in the quickest form possible.
So – this is my opinion –
Unless someone can grasp the problems that Aliatlia has, make the nasty cuts that need to happen, strengthen the core services and build value and reform it in a root and branch style – even if the government takes 51% of the airline – it’s doomed to fade into history.
Alas, Italian pride will probably keep this airline afloat again.
But at what price? And ultimately – who will pay?
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