Editor in chief:
CLARA MOSCHINI

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Alitalia towards the definition of the sale to Lufthansa

Rome, Italy - There seems to be an understanding on a transfer value of about 300 million euros

At this point it would seem certain: it seems that Alitalia together with the Italian Government found an agreement on the sale to Lufthansa. According to well-informed sources it will be announced by Luigi Gubitosi (extraordinary commissioner of the Italian airline together with Enrico Laghi and Stefano Paleari) by the 19th of this month. After this date they will proceed with the definition of the transfer and with the signing; everything should be confirmed before the start of the electoral campaign. Always according to the same sources Alitalia will be sold for about 300 million euros, while there will be cuts in both ground staff and flight crews: it is in fact confirmed that there will be 6000 redundant employees, partially pilots, but flight assistants will be the mostly hit, and even more those ones who have a part-time contract; after them mechanics and handling. The fleet of 120 airplanes will be reduced to just over its half: Embraers will go away and so many other aircraft. A question therefore arises: when Embraers will be taken away, pilots who are qualified for this kind of aircrafts will still have a future? They will have to get certified to fly other airplanes. And who will pay for this licence? Furthermore the workers who were recently employed by Gubitosi as consultants, if they will not have a continuity of contract with the new buyer -as it seems that it will be- shall necessarily be settled before the natural expiration of their contracts of employment. That is they will get a severance pay after just a few months, for sure with the resources of the special administration fund. How do you say... the last shall be first. Of course, a blow for those six thousand redundant workers who are not numbers, but people, families. Since the official announcement -that is expected in about ten days- for them there will be a question mark about their future, just before Christmas holidays. Also considering that the airline continues to lose money almost as last year. In all this uncertainty, almost for the well-informed, a thing seems now almost sure: also if the conditional is required, it seems that Gubitosi might already have another proposal, this time by Astaldi. Incidentally... in conclusion: despite the reiterated assurances by the Government, Lufthansa will acquire only the operational part of Alitalia, not other sectors (like handling, as an example), and this, in our view, is called a "stew"...

AVIONEWS - 1208973

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