Nationalised Alitalia Aiming To Break Even In 2022
A new, downsized Alitalia is aiming to break even in terms of core profit in 2022, excluding aircraft costs, the state-owned carrier's CEO-elect, Fabio Lazzerini, has said.
"We are like a start-up company that takes its first step, like a hiker who wants to get to the top but may have to change its path several times," Lazzerini told a press call to present the 2021-2025 business plan.
After 11 years of turbulent private management and three failed restructuring attempts, the coronavirus crisis scuppered the Italian government's plan to sell the airline and Rome decided to re-nationalise it.
Italy has set aside €3 billion for a new company that will buy the good assets of the old carrier and launch a new strategy with state support.
Lazzerini and chairman-elect Francesco Caio face widespread scepticism that the re-nationalised Alitalia can be profitable after it burnt through approximately €8 billion of taxpayers' money in the last four years.
Lazzerini, who served as managing director at Gulf airline Emirates in Italy before moving to Alitalia in 2017, said that the new carrier will start with 52 planes and up to 5,500 staff, nearly half the levels of the old Alitalia.
The carrier will clinch an industrial partnership next year, Lazzerini said, adding that talks are underway over two possible options.
The old Alitalia is part of the SkyTeam Alliance, which includes US carrier Delta and Europe's AirFrance-KLM. Last year, Germany's Lufthansa held talks with the old Alitalia over a possible alliance.
The 2021-2025 plan for the new Alitalia will now be submitted to the Italian parliament and to the European Commission for approval.
Brussels will check whether there is a clear break between the old and the new company, otherwise the revamped Alitalia may be asked to repay state aid that the old company received, draining much-needed financial resources.
Fiumicino And Linate
The carrier will focus on Rome's Fiumicino Airport, which is operated by AdR, and Milan's city airport of Linate, which is managed by privately-owned SEA.