Italian government approves new state loan of €400 million but … quo vadis Alitalia?

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Last Monday, the Italian Government gave its approval for a new state loan of €400 million for ailing airline Alitalia. The new loan is valid for six months and should give the managers at the helm of the Italian airline the opportunity to restructure and to find buyers, the government said in a statement. 

Alitalia has been insolvent since May 2017 and was able to stay “in the air” thanks to a €900 million bridge loan – also paid by the Italian government, thus tax money paid by the Italians. In between the two loans, the government issued a series of deadlines for a takeover bid, but they were always unsuccessful. The most recent deadline expired on 21 November.

Aviation expert Andrea Giuricin calculated that Alitalia is losing around €500 million annually, and that it had only €300 million left in cash at the end of September. The airline’s struggle for survival can become even fiercer if the state aid goes against the European competition rules. The European Commission is investigating the case.

The story of Alitalia, and its nine lives, can be read and discussed in this forum topic.

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