Dublin based airline Ryanair has made a "non-binding offer" for Italian carrier Alitalia. In May, Alitalia filed to be put into special administration, for the second time since 2008. The once great Italian flag carrier and airline to the Pope (he has his own airport special terminal) will now possibly be restructured, sold on as a going concern or finally wound up.
By Friday the Italian press claimed some ten non-binding offers had bee logged. Alitalia went through this process in 2007-8 before it was re-launched with Gulf airline Etihad taking a 49% stake.
He continued: "but only if there was a significant restructuring so Alitalia could reasonably be seen to operate on a profitable basis."
The current Italian government has ruled out renationalising Alitalia, which was privatised, went through a relaunch nine years ago. Bridging finance has however been keeping the airline afloat, but that is only for a six month period.
Some eighteen groups expressed an interest, given access to the Alitalia books, in order they could prepare what is termed non-binding offers, and the deadline for submitting these has now passed - although if a well primed new entrant puts in a really attractive document it could well be considered.
The next stage is to submit a binding offer, and that has to be tabled by October.
Julian Bray Aviation expert writes:The smart money seems to be on Etihad which already owns 49% buying the remaining 51% , setting up a European based subsidiary effectively turning Alitalia into a feeder, predominately cargo airline.
The major Alitalia international routes and slots being turned over to the parent Etihad, and shared between the two brands, but possibly a proportion still under an Alitalia livery, with an international crew, rather like the 'mixed fleet' (lower pay and perks) arrangement favoured by British Airways owner IAG, based in Spain. Existing Alitalia staff on current terms but any new staff on the 'mixed fleet' package.
The doomsday option is that if no one submits a binding offer then the Alitalia administrators will formally wind up the airline. Alitalia over the years has suffered from poor industrial relations with its Union represented flying and cabin crew.
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476