Air France-KLM is in advanced talks for a takeover of Alitalia, of which it already owns 25%, by summer 2013, according to a report by Il Messaggero. Alitalia is currently controlled by an investment consortium, CAI, which includes Air France-KLM, which purchased the airline in 2008 when it was insolvent. On 12-Jan-2013, a lock-up of shares in the airline is to expire which will allow shares to be sold. Air France-KLM reportedly has offered other shareholders in the airline a 20% premium over the purchase price of their initial investments in Alitalia in 2008 in order to take over the airline. Meanwhile former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he opposed a takeover of Alitalia by a foreign group, stating via Facebook on 06-Jan-2013, “Our country cannot afford not having its own flagship airline. If Alitalia had fallen into the hands of the French...many tourists would have ended up visiting the castles in the Loire valley instead of our cities of art". [more - original PR - Italian]
Air France-KLM in advanced talks for a takeover of Alitalia: report
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Europe summer 2017 airline capacity outlook: fifth successive summer of above trend seat growth
Airline seat growth from Europe in summer 2017 is set to stay at almost 6% for the third successive summer, according to data from OAG. This rate had not previously been reached since 2010, although this will be the fifth straight summer of growth ahead of its 10 year average rate. The summer 2017 season started on 26-Mar-2017 and, although always subject to further change, the data give a fairly clear picture.
Seat capacity on routes from Europe to Africa will grow the fastest, as the region recovers from a terrorism related drop in demand in North Africa. There will also be above trend growth in almost every other region from Europe (including intra Europe). The only exception is Europe-Middle East, where the newly cautious Gulf airlines' growth is slowing this summer.
On the North Atlantic, always important for the profitability of Europe's leading legacy airlines, growth will be faster than its 10 year trend, but it will at least be a little slower than in the past summer. The loss of market share from the immunised North Atlantic JVs to newer and smaller competitors, including LCCs, is set to continue. As ever, the OAG capacity data provide a window into the changing structure of the airline markets from Europe.
Alitalia: defying gravity again - another loss, another turnaround plan, maybe another last chance
On 15-Mar-2017 Alitalia’s Board of Directors approved yet another turnaround plan. After losses throughout this century and yet another postponement of Alitalia's planned return to profit, this time pushed back from 2017 to 2019, each successive plan becomes more vital to its survival.
Alitalia's latest plan envisages revenue growth of 30% and cost reductions totalling EUR1 billion by 2019. It includes narrowbody fleet cuts, offset by seat densification, load factor gains and improved utilisation. It plans modest widebody growth, with expansion of capacity to the Americas in particular.
A major focus is to improve Alitalia's competitiveness on short/medium haul, which is increasingly dominated by LCCs, and which is vital to feed its long haul. All the usual features of becoming more competitive versus LCCs are in the plan: lower unit costs, unbundling and a simplified fare structure as a result of headcount reductions and other savings in operating costs.
Labour productivity improvement remains crucial to the plan's success. The plan’s funding, and Alitalia's future growth, will be subject to trade union agreement to a new collective agreement and headcount reductions. However, the immediate union response was to call a strike after management presented the plan to employees. Surely this has to be the last chance.