Last Update: at 17:53

Governmental ultimatum

Alitalia has six months to find an investor

The airline is starting new talks with potential investors - including Air France-KLM and Lufthansa. The government gives Alitalia time until the summer to find a solution.

Shortly before Christmas, the new special administrator started his job at Alitalia. Giuseppe Leogrande has taken on a monumental task that he must complete in record time. Although the government granted a further loan of 400 million Euros in December, the airline’s future is not guaranteed. Each day it burns around a million Euros.

There will be no more money from the government now. Minister of Development Stefano Patuanelli made this clear at the turn of the year. «To save Alitalia, we have another six months left», the politician told the newspaper Il Messagero. A solution has to be presented by mid 2020. Otherwise the company will be closed, he stated.

In talks with Air France-KLM

In Rome, everyone hopes that it will not come to that. Special administrator Leogrande has been given the task of reducing Alitalia’s costs in order to make the national airline more attractive for investors. According to Italian media reports, one of his first tasks is to terminate unattractive leasing contracts. Leogrande will already outline his ideas to the Transport Commission of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament on Tuesday (February 7).

However, the search for a new owner is back to square one after the plan to sell the airline to Ferrovie dello Stato FS, Delta and the airport operator Atlantia failed. «We are starting from scratch», said Minister Patuanelli. He made it clear that they would once more talk to the state railways and Delta, but also to Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.

… and Lufthansa

Lufthansa gets the first chance. The Germans can also present their plans to the Chamber of Deputies. They have always stressed that they only want to invest in Alitalia if the costs are significantly reduced. This was met with resistance in Italy because of foreseeable layoffs.

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