“Alitalia is strategic and will become the flag carrier again“. But the newco will start from a small size, just a quarter of the current one: 30 aircraft, 3,000 employees. The government and the extraordinary commissioner Giuseppe Leogrande are working on it.
A mini-Alitalia is the project on which the government and extraordinary commissioner Giuseppe Leogrande are working. In the vision of the government, Alitalia must be national and public-owned, but with a very small size, at least in the initial phase.
“Alitalia is strategic and will once again become the flag carrier“, is the government’s mantra. But the new company that will revive it will be only a quarter of the current one. After 3 years of deadlock with the lack of new investors, the aim is to create the newco in just over a month because the cash is running out. A scenario which, in the absence of a real recovery plan, worries the unions.
The new route for the company was illustrated to the unions during a video conference convened by the Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli, which was also attended by the Ministers of Transport Paola De Micheli and Labour Nunzia Catalfo, as well as by Commissioner Leogrande. The government reiterated the company’s strategic position, made even more evident by the crisis linked to the coronavirus emergency, and confirmed the path of the public newco. The new element concerns the perimeter of the new company which will be “limited“. A really minimal capacity. Translated, the newco will start with a fleet of 25-30 aircraft, that is those that are flying in this moment of Covid-19 emergency.
This is barely a quarter of the total current fleet, which is 113 aircraft. Lufthansa, for example, has over 200 aircraft. If there is a similar reduction also for staff, it would slim down to about 3,000 employees from the current 11,000. It would return, in fact, to the levels of 1957, when newborn Alitalia had about 3,000 employees and 37 aircraft. A far cry from the years 2001-2004 when the Alitalia (of which the state was the major shareholder) had over 20,000 employees and a fleet of 160-185 aircraft.
The newco will be set up as soon as possible, possibly in one month, and a workers’ representative will also join the board. An element that finds the appreciation of the unions, however, worried by the lack of a growth plan for the company once the emergency is over.
Source: sky TG24