Alitalia is running out of Euros to operate!
Alitalia, Italy’s flag carrier, has less than a month left to find the funds they need to fuel their airplanes, pay the salaries of 12,000 employees, airports’ fees, aircraft leasing payment, and all other contracts. Alitalia is expected to run out of liquidity by the end of March 2017.
This isn’t the first time the Italian flag carrier has been on the brink of collapse, the airline has been financially hurting since at least 2007, when it had debts of €1.2 billion ($1.7 billion) and was losing approximately one million euros a day.
Earlier this month, on February 23, 2017, Alitalia employees went on strike, which forced the airline to cancel 60% of their scheduled flight. This seems counterproductive to me, that airline employees who know their company is on the brink of collapse, would essentially speed up the process by going on strike. Trust me, I understand their frustration, I’ve read about the poor management decisions and lack of leadership, but they are basically speeding up their unemployment date.
Alitalia must come up with €1 billion by the end of March in order to, essentially, continue to fly the friendly skies. In 2017, Alitalia predicts over €600 million in operating losses, almost an average of €2 million in losses everyday. On the other hand, Etihad Airways owns about 49% of Alitalia and has been a strong ally in keeping the airline from collapse.
According to Italy Europe 24, Ryanair already flies more passengers to Italy than Alitalia. My prediction is, that Alitalia will either merge with another major airline or be forced to cease operations in the near future. I wonder what Pope Francis will fly if Alitalia shuts down…