31 October 2007

AZ - the final drumbeat calling the faithful?

The final round of choices for the perennial life supported Italian Airline seems to be approaching. However the final choices seem to be somewhat mundane. Approved for the final round was AF/KL, LH, SU and Air One. TPG having been unable to persuade their first partner (Mattelin Patterson) or find another one, officially threw in the towel over a week ago. Besides they have several other shiny new projects to worry about.

Now it appears there is only LH and AF/KL in the running with SU a long shot. Call it part of the fallout from the liquidity/mortgage crisis but the numbers don’t look so hot now to the potential suitors.

Realistically AF/KL has to be the lead. Remember there is so much emotion and politics wrapped up in this one - logic and commercial common sense does not really work. At least AF/KL won’t close down the Alitalia brand (even though perhaps they should!).

We just can’t imagine Prodi's somewhat shaky coalition approving a Russian or a German ownership.

We can hear Michael O'Leary's cackle from here......... Cheers Timothy

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