Alitalia announced new seasonal service between Rome and San Francisco next summer. Did I miss the outrage from Delta?
When Air Italy announced new service between Milan and San Francisco, Delta CEO Ed Bastian was outraged, penning a fiery op-ed:
These Italian routes, already highly competitive and well-served by existing carriers, are simply not economically viable without Qatari subsidies. By flooding these markets with subsidized capacity and dropping prices far below cost, Qatar is launching another assault on U.S. airline employees and travelers, and disrespecting the Administration.
Bastian asked for the help of Congress and the Trump Administration to declare “that these actions simply won’t be tolerated.”
Hold that thought.
Alitalia Launches Service To San Francisco
Alitalia will launch 3x weekly service between Rome (FCO) and San Francisco (SFO) next summer. The flight will operate on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays between June 01, 2020 and October 28, 2020 under the following schedule:
- AZ640 Rome to San Francisco dep 9:15AM arr 1:15PM
- AZ641 San Francisco to Rome dep 3:15PM arr 12:15PM+1
Alitalia will use a Boeing 777-200 on the route.
Where Is The Outrage, Delta?
Bastian asked, “Who is funding Air Italy’s losses?”
Its investors, including Qatar Airways, which owns a minority stake in the airline.
Why isn’t he asking, “Who is funding Alitalia’s losses?”
The answer is clear: it’s the Italian government. Italy has chosen to keep afloat an airline that should have liquidated long ago if profit was any concern.
So why does Delta condemn one airline and not the other? Why doesn’t Bastian accuse Alitalia of stealing U.S. airline jobs on routes that are only possible due to illegal subsidies?
It’s very simple. Delta and Alitalia have a joint-venture agreement (still in effect, though being winded down) and are SkyTeam partners. They codeshare and work together.
As if that makes the subsidies any objectively less egregious…
But for Delta,
love direct financial gain covers a multitude of sins.
I love flying Alitalia. Anyone who thinks a poorly-run airline translates to a poor onboard product is wrong. The food on Alitalia is among the best I’ve ever had and I slept well in business class. This new route is good for consumers and will challenge not only Air Italy, but United in SFO.
But the silence from Delta is deafening and exposes a level of hypocrisy so deep that any anti-Air Italy argument put forward should not be taken seriously.
> Read More: Will US Airlines Now Boycott Alitalia?
> Read More: Dense, Dimwitted Logic From A Deliberately Deceptive Delta CEO