JFK Airport Alitalia customer service agents wear the new uniforms that Alitalia recently released. They go along with the near completion of a reorganized Alitalia hoping to climb from bankruptcy.
Alitalia is nearing a sale or partnership to one of the carriers; EasyJet, Air France, Delta or Lufthansa. There are differing offers; one drastic one includes laying off thousands, cutting destinations worldwide and a total restructuring. Another is keeping the airline fairy close to its roots. In one scenario, Alitalia maintains operational centres in Rome and Milan with Delta managing long-haul service and EasyJet leading short- and medium-haul service from Milan, The Italian government is strongly in support of the latter since it keeps the legacy airline alive and many of its workers employed.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development, Luigi Di Maio, meeting the unions at Mise, (Ministry of Economic Development) outlined the account of the new company, AZ, and declared, “So, after more than 10 years under the guidance of private individuals, Alitalia will return public.”
The last year of Alitalia being public was in 2008 when the then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi called a group of individuals to block the merger of Alitalia with Air France-Klm.
“This situation is reflected in the interest of several private airlines to acquire a share in the capital of the new company to be formed, which will have to take over the activities of Alitalia. The negotiations currently underway with Delta and EasyJet show the possibility of a new shareholding structure together with the Ferrovie Dello Stato (The Italian State Railways- FS).”
“When we talk about market operations, in fact,” underlines Di Maio, “we are talking about private partners, but the presence of the MEF and FS guarantees the safeguarding of employment levels and avoids dismissal. And it is to guarantee a strategy to Alitalia and not to sell it”
“If this negotiation ends positively and produces a robust business plan in full compliance with Italian law as well as the European legislation on state aid and competition, and an industrial plan that evidently allows it to stay on the market without state aid, the MEF can consider a participation in the capital of the new company,” concluded Minister Tria.