Alitalia Endgame: Odds and Ends

Today’s Alitalia news:

As mentioned yesterday, Alitalia has finally gone ahead and started trying to sell off the good bits in something akin to an auction, something that should have happened a long time ago. At this point, it’s going to be pretty dicey to put much together, as the deadline is the 30th of September, and with world financial markets in turmoil, many investors may be a bit wary of getting involved with anything having to do with Alitalia. “3-4” days of flying left before the airline is grounded is one number being bandied about, but none of the deadlines set so far has come and gone with any real changes in operations, so I’d take it with a grain of salt.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, some of Alitalia’s assets have been seized in Israel, in order to pay for debts the company owes local airports.

Berlusconi continues to rant and rave about the unions ruining his deal, and while he’s probably right in terms of the proximate cause for the negotiations’ collapse, it’s sort of like the camel herder shaking his fist at the straw that broke the camel’s back: there is a lot that went wrong over the years, including Berlusconi’s making a mess of the Air France deal, which was far better from a financial point of view, for the Italian taxpayers.

Another development is that some of the Alitalia personnel want to put their own money towards buying up the company, which is certainly more courageous than the entrepreneurs, but just as likely to end up badly, as hard choices that need to be made will be that much more difficult if the pilots and other staff have any kind of veto.

Meanwhile, Fiumicino airport sounds like it’s a madhouse, with opposing groups of employees demonstrating: the “si`” group who wants a deal, and the “no” group who don’t, being kept apart by the police.

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