Al­i­talia strike grounds 200 flights

New Straits Times - - Business -

ROME: A strike at Ital­ian car­rier Al­i­talia, placed in ad­min­is­tra­tion ear­lier this month, grounded 200 flights yes­ter­day, the air­line said, adding it man­aged to re­as­sign some 80 per cent of pas­sen­gers af­fected.

Al­i­talia, which has been stack­ing up losses for years, was placed in ad­min­is­tra­tion on May 2 at the de­mand of share­hold­ers after staff re­jected a €2 bil­lion (RM9.5 bil­lion) res­cue plan in­volv­ing pay cuts and 1,700 job losses.

Hav­ing ruled out na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, the Ital­ian gov­ern­ment is look­ing for a bid­der for the com­pany, in which UAE car­rier Eti­had Air­ways has a 49 per cent stake.

Yes­ter­day’s strike, which af­fected do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional flights, came with talks un­der­way on con­di­tions sur­round­ing the shed­ding an­nounced mid­week of 1,358 of the air­line’s 12,500 staff.

At the start of May, the gov­ern­ment agreed a €600 mil­lion bridg­ing loan to keep Al­i­talia’s planes fly­ing for around six months while ad­min­is­tra­tors de­cide whether to sell part or all of the com­pany or liq­ui­date it.

Min­is­ter of eco­nomic devel­op­ment Carlo Cal­enda ruled out na­tion­al­i­sa­tion ear­lier this month say­ing Ital­ian cit­i­zens “have al­ready paid €7.5 bil­lion over the past few years in at­tempts to res­cue Al­i­talia”.

De­spite a wave of fare pro­mo­tions, Al­i­talia has been strug­gling amid the un­cer­tainty over its fu­ture as cus­tomers in­creas­ingly look to ri­val car­ri­ers. AFP

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