This year two of Etihad’s big investments — airberlin and Alitalia — are falling apart.
Airberlin’s collapse was incredibly fast. The airline filed for insolvency in mid-August, and will operate their last flight before the end of the month. That’s just over two months from insolvency to liquidation. The German government doesn’t play games, it seems.
Alitalia has been a different story, though. Earlier in the year the airline tried to restructure in order to survive, but when employees voted against pay cuts and layoffs, the airline had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. The Italian government said they wouldn’t bail out Alitalia yet again, aside from a six month bridging loan while they try to find a buyer for the airline.
Well, Alitalia has just about run out of money, their six month period is over, and you want to guess what’s happening? Yep, the government is giving the airline yet another loan. Per thelocal.it, the Italian government will give Alitalia a further 300 million EUR loan, and is extending the deadline for finding Alitalia a buyer until April 30, 2018:
Struggling Italian carrier Alitalia received a boost on Friday when Rome said it would add €300 million ($355 million) to a bridge loan package and extend its deadline for finding a buyer.
“The deadline for the procedure of ceding assets belonging to Alitalia and other societies of the group … has been extended to April 30, 2018,” the government said in a statement.
In May, Rome said it would provide a €600 million loan to keep the carrier’s planes in the air for around six months, staving off liquidation of the flagship airline.
Originally Ryanair expressed interest in buying parts of Alitalia, but they’ve withdrawn interest, given the current issues they’re facing as an airline.
So Alitalia is left more-or-less without a buyer, and is getting a further loan from the government.
I hate to say it, but I almost don’t blame Alitalia’s employees for voting against pay cuts and layoffs, since it seems like Italy just won’t let the airline die.