Alitalia had a strike last week when the crew members weren’t too eager as a concession to have fewer vacation days and having to stock up lavatories during long-haul flights.
Now, Il Sole 24 is reporting that the airline will run out of cash by the end of March unless someone is willing to lend some more or the airline can find new equity investors. The airline is expected to lose 600 million euros this year.
You can access the Il Sole article here of which below is an excerpt:
They nearly halted activities just before Christmas, when the ailing company – which is 49% owned by the UAE’s Etihad Airways – already had a negative balance. They avoided the collapse on December 22nd when the shareholder banks on the board, UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, released the lines of credit that were already granted, worth €180
For a few years now, Ryanair has been transporting more passengers in Italy than Alitalia: 2015’s figures show 29.7 million passengers, versus 22.987 million. And it won’t be long before easyJet could also surpass them, with 14.36 million passengers in 2015.
2017 should have been the year for them to break even in terms of operating and net profits, according to the plan launched in August 2014 by their new, strong partner Etihad. In the first two years since Etihad joined (2015 and 2016), the “new” company had over €1 billion in operating losses.
It is interesting to see who is going to “refinance” the airline by the end of March or whether it finally fold down. Seems that they are running out of options. Etihad cannot raise their share (already own the maximum 49%) and why would they? Not sure why Italian banks have become shareholders of this loss making airline and keep extending the loans?
I would be hesitant to make booking on Alitalia operated flights past the end of March. If you do, make sure that you pay using a credit card.
I truly wish that the airline can survive, but they must come up with something that won’t keep burning 1 – 2 million euros per day as they currently do.