06 April 2008

A comment on Alitalia

With the Italian basket case's losses accelerating there are but days away from either an orderly assumption or a catastrophic failure.

The election on April 13/14 will likely result in a Silvio victory but not with a sweeping mandate. This process often takes weeks to resolve before a viable Italian Government is formed. During this time the airline will continue to bleed red ink.

the options in front of the assembled parties are now pretty stark. As I have noted before the Government cannot put more money into the airline without risking EC sanctions. A full bankruptcy is political suicide. So that leaves the so called "Parmalat" reorg option or a modified version of the AF-KL deal.

It is unlikely that any of the original bidders would be interested - TPG has its hands full elsewhere, Mattelin Patterson is smarting from the grounding of ATA, surely the AirOne guys cannot be serious, and Aeroflot - well its Russian. Lufthansa would be mad to take it on - but it just might. British Airways - not a good time for them right now, esp as they just put a little cash into Iberia. Nope - I think I will stick with the two options above. KL/AF or a modified bankruptcy.

The unions were extremely foolish in holding out this long. It has only made matters worse.

Good luck though!

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