New dilemmas to be faced over the sale of Alitalia

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The managing director of Lufthansa, Karsten Spohr, in a letter addressed to the Italian Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, would have placed some “essential” conditions to confirm the interest in purchasing the carrier for 300 million euros. The first concerns the streamlining of the workforce, with cuts that should be made by the commissioners before the sale for a total of at least 2,000 outgoing employees. The second concerns the fleet, with the company interested in keeping only 90 aircraft.

For the worker unions it would be a “miserable and inadmissible” offer, while the Minister Calenda would be assuming a mediation at least on staff cuts (currently over 9 thousand units). Strong of its leadership in Europe, with 130 million passengers transported in 2017 (that boasted the primacy in the old continent), Lufthansa essentially wants a smaller, slimmer and without trade union problems in the bud.

The other tile that is about to fall on the executive comes directly from Brussels. It has been confirmed that the European Union intends to initiate an investigation into the mega-bridge loan of 900 million euros granted by the Italian government to Alitalia, and it is only waiting for a formal passage. That is the official document of Palazzo Chigi which must detail the modalities of the loan, to proceed to an analysis that could lead to the dispute.

Meanwhile, it returns the name of Air France-Klm.

Air France 10 years later… A new chapter opens in the dispute over the purchase of Alitalia, and the name of the French-Dutch Group (Air France-Klm) is circulating, which together with Delta Air Lines would be the new partner chosen by easyJet to counter Lufthansa’s offer that would seem the favorite. It seems, therefore, that the British company has abandoned the idea of teaming with the US fund Cerberus.

Air France-Klm, already a partner of the former Italian airline company before the entry of Etihad, had taken off from the purchase proposal exactly ten years ago, in April 2008, following the first major crisis of Alitalia. The Berlusconi government at the time refused to sell to the French by proposing the entry of a group of Italian entrepreneurs who eventually did not bring the desired results.

According to Il Sole 24 Ore (the Italian financial daily), however, currently the tandem easyJet-Air France would play the international card represented by Delta Air Lines, a commercial partner in Sky Team with which Alitalia is renegotiating more flights to the United States.

In recent days, the Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda, stressed that the offers for Alitalia are “at the moment three” and that within ten days the name of the suitor will be communicated with whom he will negotiate exclusively.