A Very Expensive “A”

by Giacomo Amati
Alitalia A319 taking off at sunset. Photo by Fabio Sorce.

Alitalia will soon cease operations. Therefore, its brand is now being sold through a public tender, and ITA, the brand new Italian flag carrier, is the leading candidate.

An overly expensive “A.”

Alitalia’s brand has been valued at € 290,000. This starting price has been deemed “unrealistic” by ITA’s president, Alfredo Altavilla.

That of Altavilla is just a personal opinion, which aligns with that of industry experts, according to whom the value of Alitalia’s brand should be around € 145,000 and € 150,000. When asked for an explanation, Altavilla shed light on the € 3.5 billion loss the airline generated over 11 years.

In response to Altavilla’s comment, Alitalia’s commissioners underlined that the value resulted from an evaluation requested by the law and carried out by an external professional.

AZ B777 close-up. Photo by Igor Santorsula.

Alitalia – ©Igor Santorsula.

ITA’s plan

Although ITA’s president thinks the brand’s value has been overly estimated, the executive board will have the last word.

The Newco plans to take part in the public tender and think of this as a three-step road. Firstly, they will show interest in buying the brand, but without binding themselves to any offers. This will lead to a second phase, where the price will be lowered. Lastly, Alitalia’s commissioners will be able to “transfer the brand without procedural constraints to the economic operator they will have identified,” as the tender reads.

Meanwhile, Altavilla is eager to do whatever it takes to let ITA take off on October 15th since, from this date onwards, Alitalia will not be allowed to fly anymore. However, ITA’s management is now dealing with the protests carried out by the trade unions. These express their concern for ITA’s wages, which have been described as too low compared to other carriers, including low-cost airlines.

Nonetheless, Altavilla responded that ITA’s wages are perfectly aligned with that of other full-service carriers, in some cases even higher.

Do you think ITA will eventually buy Alitalia’s brand? Let us know in the comment below! 

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