Monday 25 September 2017

Administration for Alitalia as deal fails

Alitalia flights will continue as normal, despite it entering special administration after staff rejected a rescue plan
Alitalia flights will continue as normal, despite it entering special administration after staff rejected a rescue plan

Alberto Sisto

Italy's Industry Minister Carlo Calenda is set to appoint three commissioners to run Alitalia after the airline asked to be placed under special administration, a source close to the matter said yesterday.

The commissioners will include Luigi Gubitosi, Alitalia's chairman elect, and Enrico Laghi, who served as one of the special commissioners managing the restructuring of Italian steel plant Ilva, the person added.

Alitalia requested to be put under special administration after workers rejected management's latest revamp plan - kicking off a process that will lead to the carrier being overhauled, sold off or wound up altogether.

The board made its decision after meeting shareholders on Tuesday, citing Alitalia's serious economic state, the unwillingness of investors including Etihad to refinance the company and the impossibility of finding a quick alternative.

A cabinet meeting on the issue has been called for later on Tuesday, two sources said.

The airline said its flight schedule would remain unchanged.

James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways, which bought into Alitalia in 2014, said the Italian airline required "fundamental and far-reaching restructuring to survive and grow in future".

"Without the support of all stakeholders for that restructuring, we are not prepared to continue to invest," he said in a statement.

The company is currently losing about €1m a day. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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