30 MARCH 2020
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According to the Reuters news agency the Italian government plans to take control of Alitalia in a month or so, creating a new company that will start off with a much smaller fleet, trade union sources have said.
Originally created in 1946 Alitalia has staggered from one crisis to another under various similar titles and ownership. It has only ever made a profit once (1998) but has had high visibility as “The Pope's Airline”. Air France/KLM is amongst the airlines that have invested in Alitalia over the years and lost money.
According to the sources, the industry ministry told unions that the new Alitalia would start with 25-30 aircraft, around a quarter of the fleet it was operating before the coronavirus outbreak.
“The government said that 25-30 aircraft would only be the starting point, but we are concerned the fleet will not be expanded once the emergency is over,” one of the sources told Reuters. At the present time Alitalia’s workforce is in excess of 11,000.
A meeting between the industry, transport and labour ministers and the unions is scheduled for 30 March, the USB union said in a statement.
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