Alitalia looking for partners

By Robin Van Acker | November 15, 2019

Alitalia is Italy’s or perhaps Europe’s biggest worry child. Society has been making losses for years and that doesn’t seem to change much. 

The Italian airline Alitalia goes down in history as a company with perhaps the most beautiful bankruptcy. The company has been bankrupt since 24 April 2017, but its aircraft are still in the air. It is estimated that they make a loss of around 500,000 euros every day. However, it seems as if they do not care much about this in Italy. After the bankruptcy they bought new costumes for the staff themselves and this after a year and a half before a whole new makeover had been made.

Since the collapse of the Italian Government, it has always imposed dates when there had to be a takeover or an agreement. So far, very little has happened. No other company has completely taken over Alitalia and so the Italian government continues to grant loans to its flag-carrier. The sums amount to over 1 billion euros. Yet there is still hope. There is considerable interest in the company. Both Delta Air Lines and Lufthansa would like to invest. If it depends on Lufthansa, the company will have to make huge savings and jobs will be lost anyway. If this ever comes to an agreement, the Germans want to invest 150 million into Alitalia. Delta, on the other hand, has been there from the beginning, but is no longer willing to take on the bidding battle with Lufthansa. The Americans want to invest up to 100 million euros in their Italian partner.

However, it is now more likely that Lufthansa will invest earlier than Delta. Once again, it is a smart move by the Germans, who are gradually getting their hands on large parts of Europe. Both parties must reach a conclusion by 21 November. However, we have already seen several times that these imposed dates are postponed. If it succeeds this time, time will have to tell. If Lufthansa reaches an agreement, chances are that Alitalia will stop the extensive cooperation with SkyTeam members Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines. However, Delta would prefer not to see this cooperation disappear.

Nevertheless, Alitalia bravely continues with, among other things, innovation. After the bankruptcy the airline opened routes to Nairobi in Kenya and Johannesburg in South Africa. Furthermore, it was also announced that they have a codeshare agreement with the Brazilian Azul, that will start on 2 December. In this way, Alitalia’s passengers can make use of about 100 domestic destinations of Azul. Fabio Maria Lazzernie, commercial vice-president of Alitalia, says: “Alitalia is always looking for partners who can offer our passengers the best travel experience”. The South American market is emerging and has a lot of growth potential, so it is certainly interesting.

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