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View Full Version : Alitalia Edges Towards Bankruptcy


vagabond
04-03-2008, 07:47 AM
This seems to be happening on both sides of the pond. So sad. I wake up to NPR every morning and it was full of negative airline news today - Alitalia, ATA, SWA.

From Associated Press:

ROME - Trading in shares of Alitalia was suspended Thursday and the company board called an emergency meeting as the troubled Italian air carrier edged toward bankruptcy.

After repeated failures to lure a buyer, the last, Air France-KLM, walked away from the deal Wednesday, options for Alitalia are running out.

The airline’s chairman, Maurizio Prato, quit Wednesday when talks between Air France-KLM and Alitalia’s unions fell apart.

Both sides appeared to leave the door open for renewed negotiations, however.

Air France-KLM’s Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta faulted the unions for the breakdown, but said the proposed buyout, “was a plan in which I deeply believed and in.”

Air France-KLM said late Wednesday that union proposals would not allow it to quickly return Alitalia to profitability. Air France-KLM’s offer values the airline at 139 million euros ($216 million) and is conditional on union approval.

The collapse of the talks marked a setback to the Italian government’s effort to sell its 49.9 percent stake in Alitalia before the company runs out of cash.

Unions plan to hold a news conference later Thursday.

The takeover plan includes about 2,100 layoffs from the 11,000-strong work force.

UIL, a transport workers union representing some Alitalia workers, has said any agreement is meaningless until a new government is in place.

Parliamentary elections are less than two weeks away, and conservative candidate Silvio Berlusconi, the front-runner in opinion polls, has strongly criticized the Air France-KLM bid.

Alitalia is losing more than 1 million euros (nearly $1.6 million) a day, and the airline said in February that its cash reserves had dropped to 180 million euros, down nearly 40 percent from a month earlier.