Alitalia, the Italian flag carrier, has been operating with government assistance ever since declaring bankruptcy last year. In April 2017, it was reportedly loosing up to €500,000 a day Now the Italian government is trying to sell a share in the airline and has lined up three potential candidates. The Italian Government has told that Alitalia must remain an Italian Airline, and as such, they will retain 51% of shares in the airline. The three parties reportedly interested in claiming a share of the struggling airline are:
- Ferrovie Dello Stato, the Italian State Railway.
Lufthansa was reportedly previously interested in the failing Italian entity, however, they are no longer interested. So, Who will buy Alitalia?
The first big player reportedly interested in purchasing Alitalia is European low-cost giant EasyJet. EasyJet has recently looked to diversify its European operations, recently transferring a large portion of its fleet to EasyJet Europe. EasyJet Europe is a new entity based in Austria. Setting up this new entity is part of EasyJet’s plans to continue European operations following a no deal Brexit. EasyJet currently has a fleet of 165, while EasyJet Europe has a fleet of 116. This gives a combined total fleet of 281. According to previous reports EasyJet has not made one of the two firm offers for Alitalia, rather making an expression of interest.
The American legacy carriers are particularly annoyed with “unfair competition” from the major Gulf carriers. Fellow Italian airline Air Italy is partially owned by Qatar Airways, with a 49% share owned by the Qatar Flag Carrier. As one of our 5 new airlines to watch in 2019, we expect Air Italy to do well. In fact, the new airline is expecting to operate a fleet of 50 aircraft by 2022 with 18 B737-MAX8 aircraft on order. With the backing of a major carrier like Delta, Alitalia could potentially pick itself up and provide some serious competition to both Air Italy and Qatar. There has reportedly been talk that Delta could operate the long-haul aspect of the airline, while EasyJet could focus on the short-haul side.
Delta is also reportedly looking to invest in the struggling Indian carrier Jet Airways. It would reportedly buy the 24% stake owned by Etihad. This would be in addition to the 51% owned by the airline’s current CEO.
Ferrovie Dello Stato
The final player reportedly interested in purchasing is the Italian State Railway, Ferrovie Dello Stato. Ferrovie Dello Stato is already a state-owned company, meaning that the Italian Government knows their operations fairly well. As such it’s unsurprising that they are in the running.
Who do you think will end up buying Alitalia? Let us know in the comments down below!