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Alitalia looking for partners

by Robin Van Acker

Alitalia is Italy’s, or perhaps even Europe’s, biggest worry child. 

The Italian airline Alitalia, goes down in history as a company with perhaps the most beautiful bankruptcy. The company has technically been bankrupt since the 24th 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 that this is of little care to the airline – Shortly after bankruptcy the carrier bought new uniforms for all staff, followed by a complete company rebrand a year and a half (18months) later.

Since the collapse of the Italian Government, which always imposed dates of  takeovers or agreements, very little has happened. No other company has yet to completely take over Alitalia, and so the carrier still benefits from loans and grants from the Italian government, who seek to protect it’s flag-carrier. The total amount to date, amounts to over 1 billion euros – Yet there is still hope.

There is considerable interest in the company, with both Delta Airlines and Lufthansa willing to invest. Lufthansa proposes to make huge savings, including the unfortunate loss of many jobs – but they are willing to invest 150 million into Alitalia. Delta on the other hand, has been there from the beginning, but recently declared they were no longer willing to take on the bidding battle with Lufthansa. The carrier wanted to invest up to 100 million euros in their Italian partner.

As things lay currently, it is highly likely that Lufthansa will invest into the Italian carrier; A smart move for the Lufthansa Group who are gradually getting their hands on large parts of Europe. Both parties must reach a conclusion by 21 November – However, we have seen already, on several occasions, that these imposed dates can be postponed. If successful this time, chances are that Alitalia will stop the extensive cooperation with SkyTeam members: Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines – A collaboration Delta are keen not to loose. Only time will tell.

Nevertheless, in the meantime Alitalia bravely continues, with, among other things, innovation. After bankruptcy, the airline opened routes to Nairobi, Kenya and Johannesburg, South Africa. Furthermore, it was also announced that they would begin a codeshare agreement with the Brazilian Carrier, Azul, starting on the 2nd December. With this new codeshare agreement, Alitalia’s passengers can make use of approximately 100 domestic destinations of Azul.

Fabio Maria Lazzernie, commercial vice-president (VP) of Alitalia, says:

Alitalia is always looking for partners who can offer our passengers the best travel experience.

As the South American market continues to emerge and grow, interesting times certainly lay ahead.

What’s your thoughts on the Atalia bankruptcy? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch via: hello@travelradar.aero

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