Alitalia airline countdown: No blackmail accepted

“Next July 15 is the final date for those who intend to submit offers. Not an extra day granted! So those who wish to join the bid must do so very fast, and don’t think of using other levers. There are no prejudices, but no blackmail is accepted.”

This was the word given by Luigi Di Maio, Deputy Premier Minister of Italy, who added: “It must be clear that the Alitalia affair is not a political affair but a market operation,” as reported by union sources.

Those who presented themselves in the final phase

The proposals of the Toto industrial group and Claudio Lotito patron of the Lazio football team were considered inadequate by the FS-Delta Airlines and the Ministry of Economics and Finance (MEF).

The proposal of Avianca Colombia sent by CEO German Efromovich, and considered by Deputy Minister Di Maio, indicates Efromovich is “famous for the crisis of its airlines: Avianca Brasil ended May 24, 2019, by cancelling a thousand flights after declaring bankruptcy; Avianca Argentina suspended operations for 90 days awaiting ‘restructuring,’” reported a newspaper from the Tuscany region.

Other press sources report that the MEF does not intend to confirm the participation amount (declared to be 15%) until Alitalia presents an Industrial Plan.

The current situation remains FS 35%, Delta 10%, and MEF 15%, although these percentages have yet to be officially confirmed. At this point, the fourth partner, who would cover 40% of the missing capital equivalent to 300 million euros, is still missing.

Minister Di Maio also opened the possibility for Atlantia (a Benetton company), also supported by Minister Salvini of the Lega party to enter the capital of the newco, even though it has not yet officially presented an expression of interest.

Alitalia’s funds at the end of June indicates there were 435 million euros, said the manager of the Italian Ministry of Economics (MISE), to which would be added another 150 deposited with IATA to guarantee the tickets sold.

However, 145 million of interest will have to be withdrawn from the fund which the commissioners must turn in to the Treasury against the 900 million bridge loan received.

In the Alitalia affair, there is no lack of a strong stance taken by the unions, which at the time confirmed a 4-hour strike on July 26. “We hope that there is an industrial plan made of investments and that we shall have a say on which are the partners, because Alitalia needs new aircraft and [to] extend also on the world routes,” commented Maurizio Landini of the CGIL (the workers union leader).

The National Air Transport Federation (FNTA) which brings together pilots and flight attendants from ANPAC, ANPAV, and ANP, with a note underlined the urgent need to know in detail the Industrial Plan that belongs to the FS Group as head but noting that the flight crew is not in favor of interlocutors.

Instead, the workers’ representatives continue a serious and concrete recovery plan, because this would risk prolonging the precariousness of an airline that appears to be already in “difficult liquidity situations.”