Alitalia continues to operate … for now.Back to Forum
Reuters reporting that Alitalia will indeed be nationalised due to no interested buyers.17 Mar 2020
The European Union will be powerless to stop nationalisation as the governments will ignore the EU and look after their own interests and workforces.
“Italian Government Set To Take Control Of Alitalia,” (Simple Flying 16-3-20)
Fully agree. Which is why Europe will never be fully united. When the merde hits the fan, countries all look after their own self interests.18 Mar 2020
Indeed there was. I had a ticket booked with them from Accra to Milan on 4th April. They went into liquidation some weeks back now, well before COVID-19 became an issue. They assured all ticket holders that we would get a full refund but not received anything yet.18 Mar 2020
Given the exceptional circumstances and the hardship that letting the airline(s) go under at this time, I think a loan is appropriate. It should be stipulated that it be paid back, however unrealistic, in the case of AZ, that might be.18 Mar 2020
Alitalia is to be nationalised and relaunched as a much smaller airline. The “new” Alitalia will have only about 30 aircraft and about 3000 employees, at least initially. This means that it it will end up a quarter(25%) the size of the present airline, down from 113 aircraft and 11000 employees. Naturally enough the unions are not happy, but to assuage the effect the unions are being offered a seat on the new board. There is no indication, as yet, to the operations and destinations that will be offered, long-haul or short-haul. One would expect there to be services to the Italian diaspora which means essentially the USA and Argentina. Also I would expect them to serve the domestic and European routes which have the densest traffic and are the most prestigious (e.g. Paris, London, Brussels, Frankfurt et al). Ryanair, Easyjet, Vueling, Air Dolomiti are expected to devour the rest of the Alitalia network.
“The new Alitalia public company will be much smaller, with only 25-30 aircraft”, (Aviation24.be 24-3-20)
“Air Dolomiti aims to double the size of its fleet”, (Aviation24.be 20-8-19)25 Mar 2020
So it seems it won’t be mini-Alitalia after all.
The Italian government (that will take over next month) says “more than 90 aircraft”.
Here are the details: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-italy-alitalia-idUSKCN2252XQ25 Apr 2020
I have always been opposed to state aid for ailing carriers, but in these exceptional times, exceptional measures are appropriate as the downsides of allowing a major national carrier to stop operating are probably greater than pouring taxpayers’ money into it. One has to hope that the state will ensure that it is properly managed.
AZ was a once great airline and it would be good to see them back in that position.25 Apr 2020
@captonianm — I think you have been at the sherbet too much — The Italian Government to run Alitalia professionally? You are joking are you not?
It will be the same disastrous mess it has been for at least the last 20 years and its been unprofitable I believe, for 48 years of of the last 50 so, even when they were a ‘great airline’ as you called them.
They will, as they they have been for many years, be run by the unions. They are very strong, as most of the employees are Roman i.e. close to the Government
It will merely end up being increased debt for the already very broken government coffers and the poor Italian tax-payers, (I have 5 Italians with me here blocked under curfew in Saudi Arabia), whom I tease incessantly about this kind of ‘casino’ which crops every day in Italy, and with the Italian way of life.
There is a saying used by the Italian public when faced with the usual inefficiency, and un acceptable disorder in their lives accompanied by a long sigh, it is “Siamo in Italia ” meaning ‘we are in Italy’ so the presumption is that all should understand and accept it as it’s absolutely and completely normal.
I feel for the Italian tax-payer their proud Government will not let it die, and now because of this external crisis they have an excuse to step in and help it (once again). But the Belgium government let SABENA fall, and the Swiss government also let SWISSAIR fall, but Alitalia, as I prophesised will never fall.25 Apr 2020
Whilst agreeing with you, I did say :
- “One has to hope that the state will ensure that it is properly managed.”
It is a pretty forlorn hope I agree. I did some work for Alitalia years ago, at their head office in Rome. I was quite amazed at how the airline could operate at all. People who were supposed to turn up at 0830 to start work would start arriving about 0930, maybe by 1000 half of them would be there, coffee and patisseries in one hand and ‘Corriere della Sera’ or whatever in the other, sit down for a chat, spread out the newspaper on the desks, and with a bit of gentle cajoling maybe be ready to start work by 1100 – when it was time to go for coffee.
I’d shepherd them back in, get them into ‘work mode’ and just as I’d achieved that, there would be much pointing at watches and mouths and they would get, one of them would put a friendly arm round me, and off we’d go al ristorante a mangiare. That would take until 1400-1430 ………. I reckon that in an 8 hour working day, there would be maybe an hour of not very concentrated ‘lavoro’. And of course the whole time, their telefoninos were ringing, being answered, texts were pinging. It was difficult to get upset with them because they were such truly delightful and generous people but a nightmare to get them to work or take anything seriously, in fact if it weren’t for those saving graces, I’d class them as one of the worst nationalities I’ve had to work with.
As for ‘Siamo in Italia’, it’s the same in Africa : ‘TIA’. This is Africa.25 Apr 2020
I could not have put more precisely. A wonderful description of life in Italy – you have summed it up so succinctly and with such lovely people as you say.
One of the things I noticed in Government offices particularly, is that these characters turn up as you say 09.30 maybe 10, put their jacket around the back of their office chair, and then disappear until maybe 13.30, doing their own business, meeting friends in bars and generally having a wonderful morning ‘at work’. Their secretaries/colleagues would just gesture towards the jacket when asked where he was and say ‘buh, lui e in giro a qualche parte’ meaning ‘do I care, he’s around somewhere’.
Italians are a wonderful hospitable race of people, but to work with them …… you are right, they are almost impossible, they are incorrigible, but I have been trying for more than 30 years ……….. and I’ve almost got the hang of it!
Stay safe25 Apr 2020
capetonianm, thanks for the wonderful description of the working environment and the day at Alitalia head office in Rome. I’ve just got to get a job there (only half-kidding).
I love Italy anyway, and have always enjoyed all of my trips there.25 Apr 2020