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Old 01-02-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
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Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Alitalia is the "Cinderella" of the European airlines: while Sabena and Swissair failed, Alitalia survived despite millions of euro debt, thanks to Italian governments help but, above all, thanks to us Italian citizens who have paid taxes for a "beached whale" now in a irreversible coma.
What is the situation today is told us by the Alitalia CEO:

"Alitalia today is a good airline. We repositioned in the marked, improved organization, launched a policy of aggressive marketing. In this difficult period we are mainly strong in international and intercontinental routes. We have enhanced the brand, improving the on-board service. Revenues are growing. We will try to limit losses by treating our customers better and will launch revolutionary commercial offers on the route Rome - Milan from February 2013. In 2013 Alitalia will be the most punctual airline in Europe (we were in the 27th place), and today the regularity is of the 99.9%.
The market needs to consolidate: in the USA there are actually only four airlines while in Europe they are more than 100. A so fragmented market can not stand. In 10 years there will be no more than 15 airlines in Europe.
We have trade agreements with Etihad, which consider Rome very important in terms of routesand strategic development; regards Air France and a possible merger or sale of Alitalia...the shareolders will decide.
Our goal is to achieve net profit in 2014."

Is it all true? In 2008, Alitalia was saved by 3 billion euro of public money, while Air France was ready to buy the airline for 2.4 billion euro (including debts).
Alitalia loses 630.000 euro each day; the 735 million euro of debts accumulated in the four years of private management burned nearly all of the capital, the available money are around 300 million. The shareolders should recapitalize the arline by putting fresh money, but on January 12th expires the lock-up constraint and they can sell their shares to...Air France, ready to buy the airline at 1.5 billion euro, 1 billion less than 2008!
Are we italians stupid or not? Maybe yes, but the error was thinking "italian" in a global market. Even now the state is planning to nationalize the airline again, with the profits for the State (political) and losses to the citizens who put the money.
Alitalia is yet another case of italian shame, the example of lack of civic sense and respect for citizens-taxpayers that there is in Italy.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:46 AM   #2
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

I am not familiar with Alitalia's financial situation, but the president stating there are only four airlines in the US is odd. To name a few:
Airline- fleet #
United-704
Delta-722
American-605
US Airways-335
Southwest-580 plus 129 from AirTran
JetBlue-179
Alaskan-122
Frontier-70
Virgin America-52
Allegiant-65
Spirit-44

And Alitalia has a mainline fleet of 112. While the US may have 4 major carriers, there are still many carriers.
Also, an Air France buyout would be concerning to me, making the main carrier of Italy, France and the Netherlands all owned by the same company.

Last edited by DeltaFan; 01-02-2013 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:51 AM   #3
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaFan View Post
I am not familiar with Alitalia's financial situation, but the president stating there are only four airlines in the US is odd. To name a few:
Airline- fleet #
United-704
Delta-722
American-605
US Airways-335
Southwest-580 plus 129 from AirTran
JetBlue-179
Alaskan-122
Frontier-70
Virgin America-52
Allegiant-65
Spirit-44

And Alitalia has a mainline fleet of 112. While the US may have 4 major carriers, there are still many carriers.
Maybe he intended to say that there are 4 majors:
US Airways
Delta
United
American Airlines,
and the the future is of the global alliances and of the big groups (mergers between airlines).
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:02 AM   #4
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

So can you help me understand, is Alitalia is currently state owned or private? Why did the government spend so much trying to save it, and why didn't it just file bankruptcy to restructure? How do you feel about an Air France takeover (besides anger at the lower price)?

Last edited by DeltaFan; 01-02-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:45 AM   #5
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaFan View Post
I am not familiar with Alitalia's financial situation, but the president stating there are only four airlines in the US is odd. To name a few:
Airline- fleet #
United-704
Delta-722
American-605
US Airways-335
Southwest-580 plus 129 from AirTran
JetBlue-179
Alaskan-122
Frontier-70
Virgin America-52
Allegiant-65
Spirit-44

And Alitalia has a mainline fleet of 112. While the US may have 4 major carriers, there are still many carriers.
Also, an Air France buyout would be concerning to me, making the main carrier of Italy, France and the Netherlands all owned by the same company.
You should be concerned about Lufthansa then. Thus far, they are the parent company of Swiss International, Austrian, and have a large stake in Brussels airlines.

Quote:
not
So can you help me understand, is Alitalia is currently state owned or private? Why did the government spend so much teying to save it, and wht disnt it just file bankruptcy to restructure? How do you feel about an Air France takeover (besides anger at the lower price)?
Could be that to some powerful folks that it is a symbol of national pride. Sorta hard to blame them since their name was attached to something else that the Italians should be proud of:


In all seriousness
AF/KLM could always do what Lufty does and let them more or less operate as an independent operation, a sperate brand, rather than the alternative which is to make them part of AF/KLM totally, and make them even a more obvious presence in the EU (and thus sorta upsetting some over time too I would guess.)
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:27 AM   #6
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

I don't think the Italian people are stupid for saving Alitalia. If they were willing to spend billions of euros on saving an airline deep in debt it must mean something to them.

If the people of Scandinavia were willing to do the same for SAS they would be out of trouble. But sadly our airline doesn't mean much to "us" after the entry of LCCs into Scandinavia. To be honest, i think we are the stupid ones.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:44 AM   #7
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

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Originally Posted by Charter View Post
Alitalia is yet another case of italian shame, the example of lack of civic sense and respect for citizens-taxpayers that there is in Italy.
All said. No more words needed.

...except for: we deserve politicians we "govern" us
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:56 AM   #8
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Kudos to the Italians for saving Alitalia. Perhaps like them, I am nostalgic about major flag carriers that have been going for years and deserve to be saved for all they have done for the country over the years. I hate to see these long-established names go under and great shame the Swiss couldn't save Swissair, the Belgians SABENA and the Greeks Olympic Airways. How on earth the Americans allowed their beloved Pan Am to disappear is beyond me!
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:05 PM   #9
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert View Post
Kudos to the Italians for saving Alitalia. Perhaps like them, I am nostalgic about major flag carriers that have been going for years and deserve to be saved for all they have done for the country over the years. I hate to see these long-established names go under and great shame the Swiss couldn't save Swissair, the Belgians SABENA and the Greeks Olympic Airways. How on earth the Americans allowed their beloved Pan Am to disappear is beyond me!
Well, there is the Privatized Olympic Air, which uses the same livery, and maybe same equipment and people, though like with attempts to revive PAA, it is barely a reflection of it.

PAA, by that point had become a sort of a reflection of what it used to be. The State department really didn't want people flying on them since they had a bad reputation for being a Terrorist Target (many former PAA people blame the US state department , who officially urged US citizens not to fly them after the various terrorist attacks on them in the 1980s). A large chunk of their trans pacific routes too had been bought out by United in the 1980s, and since deregulation in 1978, they had a hard time competing, especially as their domestic network was nowhere near as developed as UA, AA and DL. Since the US operates on a free market, this means many beloved brands have come and go. Some reborn under parent companies, sometimes not the same as before.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:58 AM   #10
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Alitalia was a "state" airline. When the civil World started to understand that was impossible to continue to save "state" airlines (see Sabena and Swissair, for example), Alitalia continued to be a state airline despite all debts. Prodi government tried a kind of privatization but it was a comic; in 2008 Berlusconi government decided to privatize the airline: another shame, because all the debts where paid by the citizens, while the new Alitalia - CAI was formed only by the "healthy" part of the old Alitalia. The cargo brand was sold, the new Alitalia was administrated by public figures associated with politics... Is it privatized? Not really, because a private company with many debts should fail, not take money from the taxpayers! Then Air France bought some shares of the airline, without arrive at the majority, but with a clause: until January 2013 the shareolders cannot sell their shares. The fact is that, with the previous italian governments, Air France wanted to buy Alitalia (with all the debts) for 2.4 billion euro: now Air France is ready to buy the airline for 1.5 billion euro, a sign that Alitalia has become less important and that it is continuing to struggle to survive! In fact, according to some rumors, it needs to be recapitalised with fresh money but January 12th is arriving and i'm sure that the "great"Alitalia administrators, very linked with policy, will sell all their shares to Air France!
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

I hope they can geat out of these problems ASAP!!!!


In January 14th i'll have Alitalia in my city, using B777-200ER
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:35 AM   #12
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Latest news are about the 750 million debts of the airline and the possibility of dismissal of 800 employees (mainly cabin crew) to try to save something...
Air France has the 25% of shares and, maybe (and sadly) the real solution is to completely sell Alitalia to Air France.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:15 PM   #13
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight fan View Post
I don't think the Italian people are stupid for saving Alitalia. If they were willing to spend billions of euros on saving an airline deep in debt it must mean something to them.

If the people of Scandinavia were willing to do the same for SAS they would be out of trouble. But sadly our airline doesn't mean much to "us" after the entry of LCCs into Scandinavia. To be honest, i think we are the stupid ones.
The real problem, Oskar, that the Italian people don't want to save an airline that continues to lose money, but "unfortunately" we vote and the various governments will continue to spend our money trying to save it!

The news are that shareholders want to sell their shares to Etihad: in the last days the Air France CEO met the Etihad CEO asking him to stop all negotiations with Alitalia because the future of the airline will be decided by Air France/KLM...and this says a lot about who is the owner of Alitalia.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:46 PM   #14
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Breaking news from Alitalia: its CEO has resigned, mostly because the airline closed the year 2012 with a loss of 280 million euro. Now each shareholder should contribute to get a loan of 150 million euro ( Air France - KLM should contribute with 37.5 million euro) to avoid the bankruptcy.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
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Re: Alitalia finally out of the abyss ... or maybe not

Alitalia calls in boutique investment bank to advise on cash crisis | Business | The Guardian
News today!
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