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They don’t even allow Alitalia to be buried with dignity

They don’t even allow Alitalia to be buried with dignity

Only four years later, it turned out that the state support provided to Alitalia, which was fighting complete collapse, did not meet the requirements set by the European Union. Although the Romanian government granted the since-defunct airline a loan of €900m in 2017 and €400m in 2019, it quickly became clear that this money was a waste, Alitalia could not repay the loan.

Italian governments have poured ten billion euros into the airline – to no avail.
Photo: Getty Images

The losing airline did not pay back a penny, so the Brussels competition authority declared the loan unrepayable. registered as anti-competitive aids, on which Rome could put a cross. Another problem is that Alitalia has not profited from the fraudulently gained international competitive advantage, but only prolonged its suffering, and potential buyers like Etihad Airways or Delta Airlines have not finally gotten under its arm either.

The new Italian state airline ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo) Airways, which was built on the ruins of Alitalia, is not liable for the debts of its predecessor,

Thus, the Romanian government can join the liquidation after the bankruptcy of Alitalia in order to assert its claim – Ariana Podesta, spokeswoman for the European Commission, advised the Italian government led by Giorgia Meloni. However, this would hardly offset the expenses of bailing out the cabinet-affiliated company.

They can attach the claim to the 2017 clause of 900 million, as the Commission has already declared it illegal in 2021. It is no coincidence that the current Italian government has already negotiated with Brussels about the hundreds of millions offered by the state to launch the ITA, which it previously agreed to on the condition that it sells The state owns it within a specified time limit.

By some estimates, the Alitalia bailout cost Italian taxpayers ten billion euros in total, and they made no progress.

In the competition dictated by low-cost airlines, the inflexible and wasteful airline has no chance.

The start of the smaller ITA was not smooth either, as the company closed 2021 with an operating loss of 170 million euros. Figures for 2022 are not yet known, however, Rome is injecting – with permission from Brussels – €250m into the company this year, from which they had hoped to make an operating profit as early as 2024.

Last fall, Lufthansa was the only one left on stage in its sale tender,

Which, according to press reports, will acquire a 40% stake in ITA and will therefore pay an estimated €200-300m. The first round of bidding was for the purchase of a minority stake package through a capital increase, and the potential applicant can only get full control if the commitments are met.

Milan Malpensa, Italy - Circa November 2017: A passenger uses Alitalia self-check-in kiosks at Milan Malpensa Airport, Terminal 1.
Alitalia has been checked and, in principle, has nothing to do with ITA Airlines.
Photo: Getty Images

The parties did not comment on these reports, citing the ongoing issue, but the news of the offer was confirmed by Lufthansa, which also pledged to turn the loss-making ITA into a sustainably operating airline, while increasing its own coverage on the map of Europe.

The interest of the Germans is justified by their extensive presence in Italy, after the United States, Italy is the most important destination for both business and leisure trips.

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