Alitalia Gets A New Administrator

On Friday, Italy’s industry ministry appointed a new temporary administrator for the struggling Alitalia. This move follows a series of events that have seen the Italian flag carrier fail in overturning its fortune.

Alitalia A320
There are big changes happening in Alitalia’s administration team. Photo: Alitalia

Disappointing events

Previously, a consortium headed by Italy’s state-owned railway firm Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) planned to submit an offer. However, after reports of a bid on the cards last month, the group didn’t present anything.

Reuters reports that Minister Stefano Patuanelli has now appointed Giuseppe Leogrande to lead the administration of the carrier. Additionally, there will be a reshuffle in how the team is setup.

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Instead of a group of three administrators splitting power between them, Patuanelli wants there to only be a single person in the role. Therefore, he has asked Daniele Discepolo, Enrico Laghi and Stefano Paleari to resign from their current positions.

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Alitalia 777
Alitalia has been in financial trouble for over two years. Photo: Alitalia

Funds needed

This move follows last week’s news that the Italian state approved plans to grant a €400 million ($443 million) loan for Alitalia. This cash injection will allow the firm to continue operating while it sorts out its situation for the future.

Lufthansa was also strongly linked with the company and it looked like it would splash out €200 million ($221 million) investing in the airline. However, the German outfit soon confirmed that it would not be investing in Alitalia. Instead, it is keen to become a commercial partner once the airline is back on its feet.

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There is still hope

The operation has been unable to overcome its struggles since it declared bankruptcy in April 2017. However, the airline anticipates that the loan will help it restructure so it can attract a new buyer. 

Alitalia, Boeing 777-200ER
A new owner will have Alitalia’s confidence flying high once again. Photo: Masakatsu Ukon via Wikimedia Commons

With it failing to attract a suitable investor, there have been reports of it being nationalizedThis idea has caught the attention of Italian union who are opposed to any solution which would result in mass lay-offs.

Therefore, nationalization would bring about a very complicated situation as it could mean structural changes. Workers may be made redundant at various levels if the airline went through a major shift such as this.

Although, a council of ministers believes that the new loan will mean that the airline will be bought in spring 2020.  

Who is Giuseppe Leogrande?

According to AGI, the newly-appointed administrator, Leogrande, was a lawyer of the Bologna Bar since 1992. He was also the commissioner and president of Blue Panorama Airlines. Additionally, he has academic experience in bankruptcy law, with particular concentration on extraordinary administration procedure.

Ultimately, it looks like Leogrande has the right tools to lead Alitalia into a healthier state. Hopefully, the airline can be back in shape soon after the new decade is approaching.

Simple Flying reached out to Alitalia for more information on the administration shift but didn’t hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What are your thoughts on the new administrator? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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Tara

Hope? Just shut the airline down! Enough is enough!

Gerry S

Might one of the reasons Lufthansa has refused to invest the very same reason Air India too has failed to attract investors? Both of these airlines have very strong unions(or practices) which basically put the employees first. Ahead of the airline’s own self-interest indeed. If a company cannot trim it’s fat it bleeds out. And from what I garner from multiple publications is that both their workforces are too large. Too many mouths on the teats.

TonytTDK

Alitalia is the last genuine ‘legacy’ airline in Europe. The unions have fought long & hard to prevent the airline modernising & becoming a part of the real world. It is losing almost €1 million a DAY. Who, in their right mind, is going to take-on THAT challenge.? Everyone is waiting for it to go bust, so they can reopen or rebrand it, with new contracts & working practices. It has a decent market share which can be hugely developed, but not without massive & radical restructuring. It CAN’T be nationalised, without reference to the EU’s competition laws, as there… Read more »