The 16-Oct-2016 deadline for binding offers for Alitalia yielded seven bids for the bankrupt airline's administrators to consider. The only bidders that have publicly announced their interest are Lufthansa and easyJet, the same two airlines that also recently bid for parts of the Air Berlin Group.
As with Air Berlin, they have each only bid for parts of Alitalia, rather than the whole company (which would be the preference of the administrators and the Italian government). The completion of any sale to the successful bidder had been scheduled for 5-Nov-2017, but has been delayed until Apr-2018 following an Italian cabinet meeting.
Ryanair, which is the biggest airline in Italy, withdrew from the bidding process to concentrate on its recent operational problems. EasyJet is the next biggest LCC after Ryanair in Italy, and Lufthansa is the next biggest FSC after Alitalia. This gives both airline bidders an opportunity to use their bids for parts of Alitalia to challenge Ryanair's leadership in Italy.
However, as all previous owners of the Italian national airline know to their cost, cultural change, restructuring and the end of political interference will be minimum requirements for a successful and sustainable operation.
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