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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Alitalia. Commissioners: "For the first time since good time in the third quarter"

Long-term investments will be needed to re-launch the company

For the first time in the Summer quarter -historically the most profitable- Alitalia will close the balance sheet positively. This emerged during the hearing of the Transport Committee of the  Italian Chamber of Deputies of the three extraordinary commissioners of the carrier, where they talked about the results achieved in their administration. The announcement of the profit was made by Luigi Gubitosi who remembered, however, "the company is far from the possibility of closing the Autumn quarter in positive, but the result is excellent because it was achieved despite the increase in the price of oil arrived at above $ 80 per barrel". The increase in the cost of crude oil was offset "through hedging transactions, the reduction of other costs and the increase in revenues obtained from air connections", closed Gubitosi.

Stefano Paleari illustrated the economic and financial situation of Alitalia from the first day of the extraordinary administration when "there were only 83 million Euros in cash, through which it would not have been possible to work for a few days, making the de facto necessary state contribution with the bridge loan". During the period of commissioning, Alitalia was able to grow thanks to the reduction in leasing costs, which decreased "by 12% in 2017 and by 23% in 2018"; however, the problem remains for Paleari on the fleet since it is composed of "118 aircraft, of which 77 are leased, which is an anomalous situation for an airline, since the main ones in the world have more than their own aircraft. 'use". The cuts and reductions in expenses made by the three commissioners, however, have allowed us to have an Ebitda -in forecast- of "87 million in the third quarter of 2018, against the 68 million euros in the same period of 2017, an objective achieved thanks to the growth 7% of passenger revenues and 4.6% of total revenues, despite the increase in fuel costs of 8% in the first 9 months of the year".

Before the questions brought by the deputies, Enrico Laghi underlined how they are "working to ensure that those who have a concrete interest in Alitalia can make an offer by October 31, the expiry date of the extraordinary administration". But the possible manifestations of interest, added Gubitosi "are issues that are up to the Government and we are bound to confidentiality and obviously we can not say at what point are the various procedures and interviews". In order to relaunch Alitalia, the three commissioners' formula would provide "first of all financial means for the necessary investments, secondly that the current management is maintained, and finally draw up an industrial plan of continuity to what has been done so far, strengthening the long-range and the importance of the Milan-Linate airport". In order to succeed in relaunching Alitalia on an intercontinental scale, however, it will be necessary to find a partner willing to invest a large sum of money that will allow the purchase of new generation wide fuselage aircraft.

M/A - 1214671

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