Tuesday 16 September 2008

Could Alitalia be Next Airline Casualty?

Not meaning to worry you unduly but, if you've got flights booked with Alitalia, you should probably know that they're being hotly tipped as the next airline to go under. On Friday, Compania Aerea Italiana (CAI), a 16-member investor group that was proposing to rescue the company, walked out of negotiations saying it saw no possibility of agreement, and halted due diligence procedures.

According to an article on our own site the only reason the carrier is still operational is that the Italian state-controlled oil company has withdrawn a threat to close its pumps to the airline.

The site goes on to report that: "Union representatives met at the weekend in the offices of Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, who raised the political stakes by making an Italian solution for Alitalia a central pledge of his campaign this spring."

Just so you know, if you're expecting to fly with Alitalia, you might want to be prepared for some anxious moments.

In fact, postulating about who may be the next airline to bite the big one is now so rife that Paddy Power, the bookmaker, has opened a book on the next likely victim.

On its blog PP says: "Between Alitalia verging on the brink of bankruptcy and SkyEurope and Air Berlin attracting interest from pessimistic punters it’s all a little too close to call at the moment and if the betting today is anything to go by there could very well be a further ’spanair’ in the works…(pardon the pun, I couldn’t resist)"

No bets being taken on that particular employee (Sharon apparently) moving into the comedy sphere any time soon then?

For those that are interested the betting on various airlines can be found here. At time of writing Alitalia are favourites at 6 to 4 on, followed by Spanair at 11 to 4 with Sky Europe and Air Berlin neck and neck at 5 to 1. 

Of the Irish airlines Aer Arann is at 20 to 1, Aer Lingus at 66 to 1 and Ryanair at 100 to 1. 

It may be no harm to check the book before you book your flights, just to avoid any potential surprises. 

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1 comment:

OverseasCafe.com said...

A consortium of Italian investors on Thursday (Sept 18th) withdrew its takeover offer for Alitalia because of opposition from trade unions, leaving the loss-making flag carrier staring at bankruptcy, barring last-minute government intervention.

See full article on FT.com at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0cbca506-85c7-11dd-a1ac-0000779fd18c.html.