Troubled airline Alitalia sold

Troubled airline Alitalia sold

Italian national airline Alitalia, after a long period of agony, will survive at the expense of its workers and taxpayers.

When Alitalia started going bankrupt because of its irreparable debts, the Italian government instead of selling it to the first aspirant buyer – that is Air France - decided to reject its extremely convenient offer thinking that they could have saved the national airline by some ingenious stratagem. Actually, they just made it worse by letting time inflate the debt and making it ever more uninviting to any potential buyer or investor. Then Alitalia was divided in two, and these parts have been called “bad” company and “good” company, this is how the Italian press referred to the situation: in the “bad” company was located the most difficult aspect and fundamental cause of its collapse that is debt, which predictably - knowing the type of policies the government have been adopting so far - had to be paid by the State, that is the taxpayer.

In the meantime, a group of investors, representing the top businesses in Italy (among which stands the well-known Benetton) came forward forming a consortium named CAI, which, presumably in exchange for a consolidation of trust with the Government, would have offered a bailout and absorbed part of the airline expenditure. The European Commission approved the plans of Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI) to take over Alitalia’s flight operations, on Nov. 12 in Brussels. CAI would have been appointed to the “good” company and the relaunch and maintenance of the group.

Since and before bankruptcy Alitalia was struggling to keep the group together as the workers union were reclaiming thousands of redundancies, work conditions and cuts of salary by going on strike at times without prior notice - as the wildcat strike on November 12 in Rome, which caused 50 flight cancellations.

The European Union’s competition watchdog, in attempt to rescue Italian public funds from being illegitimately used, ruled that the EUR 300 million loan granted to Alitalia by the Italian State constitutes illegal State aid and had to be reimbursed. EU Transport commissioner Antonio Tajani specified that the illegal loan had to be “paid back by the old Alitalia” — which means that the debt should not affect CAI.

The “old” Alitalia was placed under special administration, and Augusto Fantozzi, the government-appointed administrator, was due to start selling off the airline’s assets prior to its liquidation.

Italian anti-trust authorities approved the sale of Alitalia to CAI on Wednesday 3rd of December. Tajani told a news conference: "According to the assessment of the sale of Alitalia by the managing trustees, the price in fact corresponds to market prices," Tajani also said: ''However, this first report was the most important because it verified that the 1.052-billion-euro offer from CAI respected market conditions,''.

The official sale will be on December 12th on which the Italian anti-trust authority also imposed other conditions as, for example, containing the price of at least 10% of the flight tickets as they were last year and is also reserving the right to confirm its approval once Alitalia's future owners choose a foreign partner.

Air France-KLM and Germany's Lufthansa are considered to be the front-runners to be Alitalia's partner.

So there it is, Air France again, probably entering the Italian market with a great discount on what it was about to buy at the beginning, when Alitalia was weighed down with all its debt and personnel to make redundant. With a couple of clever moves, the top private sector will be leading and profiting from the agonizing Italian air transportation company still called Alitalia (when we know it is not) while Italians are left to pay, in a way or another, its “waste”.

Posted By

Dec 8 2008 01:03


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Yorkie Bar
Oct 15 2009 14:38
There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That’s a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don’t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game.

Fuck, these spam are getting pretty artful.