12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Alitalia, often called a ”basket case” by top level UK airline people, consistently; losing money, is likely to have its government stake reduced by the Italian state. Italy currently owns 49.9% of Alitalia and had previously pledged not to reduce its holding below 30%. However a statement on Friday indicated that 25% of the airline could be put up for sale. In late 2005 the Italian government reduced its holding from 62.3% to 49.9% with a capital increase, the shares being traded on the Rome stock market. Indications are that Alitalia could finish up as part of a major group but although Air France-KLM holds 2% equity and are favourites it could be that an Asian carrier takes an interest. A loss is expected this year well in excess of the 2005 figure of EUR167m(USD214m).
Alitalia chief executive Giancarlo Cimoli has been quoted that the airline's future depended on forming an alliance with an international group. "The only strategic direction for Alitalia is to integrate itself in a big international group," he told a parliamentary commission. "The board has given me a mandate to explore (possible alliances)," Cimoli added.
In the first nine months of the year, it recorded a pre-tax loss of EUR276m, against EUR168m in the same period of 2005.
Air France-KLM and Alitalia last week revealed that they had begun tentative talks on a possible tie-up, but the French airline has laid down restructuring of Alitalia as a condition for any deal. The Italian government has appeared divided on whether to favour a European partner or an Asian carrier, but prime minister Romano Prodi has promised to define a strategy for the Italian airline by the end of January.