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Alitalia denies managers met Lufthansa over stake deal


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BUSINESS NEWS | Tue Oct 18, 2016 | 3:08pm BST Reuters

 

 

 

 

Alitalia denies managers met Lufthansa over stake deal

 

Top managers at Alitalia and Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) have not met to discuss the idea of the German airline buying a stake in the Italian flagship carrier, an Alitalia spokesman said on Tuesday.

 

"Alitalia managers did not meet with those from Lufthansa to talk about the German company entering (our) capital," the spokesman said.

 

On Tuesday Italian daily Il Messaggero said talks were under way between Alitalia CEO Cramer Ball and CFO Duncan Naysmith with Lufthansa managers.

 

The talks were aimed at finding a deal that could see Air Berlin being given to Lufthansa in exchange for the German carrier buying into Alitalia, the paper said.

 

United Arab Emirates airline Etihad owns 49 percent of Alitalia and 29.2 percent of Air Berlin.

 

(Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Stephen Jewkes)

 

Fonte: Reuters

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Alitalia reports €200 million loss in 2015, expected to lose another €100m this year

Gabriel SchembriFriday, 7 October 2016, 09:06Last update: about 11 days ago

 

Alitalia, the Italian national airline with whom Air Malta signed a memorandum of understanding which will lead to negotiations aimed at the sale of 49% of the company’s share, has reported a loss of more than €200 million for the year 2015. Moreover, the company which is 49% owned by Etihad, is expected to lose almost another €100 million by end of this year.

 

According to Italian newspaper Il Sole 24, despite the sale of shares to the giant airline company Etihad which contributed to a €194 million injection and the lowest fuel prices in years, Alitalia still recorded a staggering loss of €200 million. The newspaper noted that 2015 was also the ‘golden year for air transport’, but still, somehow, the Italian company managed to pile so much loss.

 

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As for 2016, the article states that loss this year could peak at a €100 million, which is far more than the predicted €44 million which was what experts had estimated.

 

According to journalist Gianni Dragoni, the Italian national airline fails to compete with other airlines from all over the globe. There was a particular decrease in the airline traffic to low cost airlines.

 

The article makes it clear that so far, these predictions are only rumours and that one needs to wait for another month to see if these predictions are true. Understandably, the article mentions Air Malta and the negotiations which might lead for the two airlines to work hand in hand. It refers to Air Malta as “the company which still sails in troubled waters with a limited cash flow.”

 

Dragoni writes that the agreement between Alitalia and Air Malta was supposed to be concluded by end of July following a memorandum of understanding signed in April. The deal was now postponed to October, according to the paper.

 

 

 

“The Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, is raising lots of doubt regarding this deal,” he writes.

 

The article concludes by saying that while airlines from all over the globe are finally enjoying a good year, companies such as Alitalia and Air Malta are still trying to find their future.

 

After negotiations with the EU Commission in 2011 which allowed a state subsidy of €130 million, it was agreed that by 2014 Air Malta had to balance its budget, and register a profit by March 2016.

 

After this period, under EU state-aid rules which safeguard fair competition within the EU’s internal market, the only injection of cash allowed would have to come from private sources.

 

Air Malta projected losses of €4 million for the financial year-end March 2016, significantly lower than the €15 million loss registered at the end of March 2015. The EU Commission did not hand down any penalties in view of the progress made between 2015 and 2016.

 

Earlier this year the government said that it spent months of negotiations with various airlines in order to acquire a strategic partner which would buy a minority stake and inject some much needed funds into Malta’s national airline – resulting in the MoU with Italy’s national carrier, Alitalia.

 

Recently, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has started hinting the possibility of pulling the plug on the Air Malta and Alitalia deal. He said that the government is considering all options and assured the public that the government has a fall-back position just in case the deal is off.

 

Fonte : Independent.com.mt

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Alitalia losing €500,000 daily… but talks with Air Malta go on

 

The government yesterday confirmed that it was still pressing ahead with a possible deal over the sale of Air Malta to the Italian national carrier – despite new revelations that Alitalia is currently losing €500,000 a day.

The Italian airline was yesterday hit by a 24-hour strike ordered by the unions of pilots and cabin crew over new working conditions.

Alitalia’s CEO Cramer Ball denounced the action, saying the strike would have a devastating effect on the struggling airline’s balance sheet.

“The union’s action is irresponsible as Alitalia is still in massive financial trouble,” Mr Ball wrote in an e-mail to his staff.

“The airline is currently losing €500,000 a day and the action will cause irreparable financial damage to the airline.”

Despite the admission by its CEO that the Italian airline, which was on the verge of bankruptcy until a few years ago, is not in a position to sustain any industrial action, the Maltese government is still pressing ahead with a possible deal with Alitalia.

“The government confirms that talks with Alitalia are still ongoing,” a spokesman for Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis told the Times of Malta yesterday when asked to comment on the latest revelations.

Alitalia is still in massive financial trouble

Mr Ball’s comments followed earlier statements made by Alitalia chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, who described the ongoing talks with the Maltese government as a “no-risk operation” for the Italian carrier.

Describing the possibility of taking over a 49 per cent stake of Malta’s national airline as a sub-zero investment – for which Alitalia would not be forking out a single euro, Mr Montezemolo said Air Malta would offer an opportunity for Alitalia to strengthen its routes with southern Italy and North Africa.

Asked to state whether the government was concerned about talks with a potential strategic partner which was losing half a million euros a day, a government spokeswoman said: “As stated many times, the government will only enter into a strategic partnership if the deal will be beneficial to Air Malta and the tourism industry at large.”

So far the government has not given any details of the business plan presented by Alitalia or the conditions laid down by the Italian airline relating to the acquisition.

The Times of Malta had revealed that the government has already agreed in principle that it would take over all the pending debts on Air Malta’s balance sheet – estimated at over €60 million. The government also agreed to a significant reduction in the current workforce, reaching unpublished separate deals with pilots, cabin crew and engineers.

Each of the three sectors of employees will see their headcount reduced, although no details have been given on how many jobs will be slashed. However, the government guaranteed that none of the current Air Malta staff would be made redundant and that ‘extra workers’ would be offered alternative employment within the public sector or voluntary redundancy schemes.

ivan.camilleri@timesofmalta.com

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Alitalia losing €500,000 daily… but talks with Air Malta go on

 

The government yesterday confirmed that it was still pressing ahead with a possible deal over the sale of Air Malta to the Italian national carrier – despite new revelations that Alitalia is currently losing €500,000 a day.

The Italian airline was yesterday hit by a 24-hour strike ordered by the unions of pilots and cabin crew over new working conditions.

Alitalia’s CEO Cramer Ball denounced the action, saying the strike would have a devastating effect on the struggling airline’s balance sheet.

“The union’s action is irresponsible as Alitalia is still in massive financial trouble,” Mr Ball wrote in an e-mail to his staff.

“The airline is currently losing €500,000 a day and the action will cause irreparable financial damage to the airline.”

Despite the admission by its CEO that the Italian airline, which was on the verge of bankruptcy until a few years ago, is not in a position to sustain any industrial action, the Maltese government is still pressing ahead with a possible deal with Alitalia.

“The government confirms that talks with Alitalia are still ongoing,” a spokesman for Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis told the Times of Malta yesterday when asked to comment on the latest revelations.

Alitalia is still in massive financial trouble

Mr Ball’s comments followed earlier statements made by Alitalia chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, who described the ongoing talks with the Maltese government as a “no-risk operation” for the Italian carrier.

Describing the possibility of taking over a 49 per cent stake of Malta’s national airline as a sub-zero investment – for which Alitalia would not be forking out a single euro, Mr Montezemolo said Air Malta would offer an opportunity for Alitalia to strengthen its routes with southern Italy and North Africa.

Asked to state whether the government was concerned about talks with a potential strategic partner which was losing half a million euros a day, a government spokeswoman said: “As stated many times, the government will only enter into a strategic partnership if the deal will be beneficial to Air Malta and the tourism industry at large.”

So far the government has not given any details of the business plan presented by Alitalia or the conditions laid down by the Italian airline relating to the acquisition.

The Times of Malta had revealed that the government has already agreed in principle that it would take over all the pending debts on Air Malta’s balance sheet – estimated at over €60 million. The government also agreed to a significant reduction in the current workforce, reaching unpublished separate deals with pilots, cabin crew and engineers.

Each of the three sectors of employees will see their headcount reduced, although no details have been given on how many jobs will be slashed. However, the government guaranteed that none of the current Air Malta staff would be made redundant and that ‘extra workers’ would be offered alternative employment within the public sector or voluntary redundancy schemes.

ivan.camilleri@timesofmalta.com

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