Despite another lifeline from the Italian government, Alitalia is still struggling…and Lufthansa wants to take over several Alitalia routes.
Speaking at the Lufthansa Group’s 3rd Quarter Earnings Call, CEO Carsten Spohr stated Lufthansa would develop a hub at Rome Fiumicino if it is successful in its bid to acquire parts of Alitalia. The Lufthansa Group currently operates five hubs within Europe:
- Brussels (Brussels Airlines)
- Frankfurt (Lufthansa)
- Munich (Lufthansa)
- Vienna (Austrian)
- Zurich (SWISS)
The offer includes a concept for a newly structured Alitalia with a focused business model (“NewAlitalia”), which could develop long-term economic prospects.
Milan would also become a focus city for Germanwings.
But Lufthansa’s offer is already facing stiff pushback in Italy. Although the precise details have not been published, leaked reports suggest that Lufthansa would–
- Slash the 12,000 Alitalia employees by 50%
- Reduce Alitalia’s short- and medium-haul flights
The Italian government would prefer to sell Aliatila as one piece, a primary reason it is now funding the carrier though April 30th of next year.
Meanwhile, Spohr has insisted that it will not acquire Alitalia or parts of it without a complete restructure.
And there is the problem. Alitalia has been around since 1947 (in various forms) and we can count on one hand the number of profitable years they have reported during that time. It seems to me that the only way Alitalia will survive is if the Italian government continues to prop it up as the national airline.
image: Aero Icarus / Wikimedia Commons