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Old June 4th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #21
IlliricumSacrum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
There seems to be a wave of privatization in the region lately. Greece and Hungary have plans to sell stakes in their national carriers.

A merger between Air France, KLM, and Alitalia might raise antitrust issues, and further marginalize airlines that haven't paired up yet. Currently, the other large carriers in Europe include Lufthansa-SWISS, the SAS group, and British Airways. Iberia is probably watching all this closely and the Eastern European carriers may find themselves cornered in the long-haul market by these huge carriers and in the short-haul market by budget carriers.
Definitely agree. The EE long haul market is literally being destroyed by all this and LCC-s have experienced a big growth. If you take a look at Polish air traffic curve, you will see that LCC-s traffic has grown tremendously.

Say this merger happens...Would this trigger a chain reaction for other present companies merger/group/enlargment within the EU as a way to keep on track with new dynamics to be created?

How is the Italian domestic market doing? Is there any financial healthy company that can be handy to Alitalia's situation?
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Old June 4th, 2005, 07:17 PM   #22
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Italian budget carrier Volaire collapsed last year and several executives were arrested for fraud last month :

Italian Police Arrest Executives From Collapsed Airline
28 April 2005

ROME (AP)--Police have arrested three top executives for alleged fraud and other charges at collapsed Italian low-cost airline Volare Group, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Police arrested the group's founder and former chairman, Gino Zoccai, former chief executive Vincenzo Soddu and former board member Giuliano Martinelli on charges of fraudulent bankruptcy, false accounting and embezzlement, said Antonio Pizzi, a prosecutor in the northern Italian town of Busto Arsizio.

Another former top executive, Mauro Gambaro, was placed under house arrest on the same charges, he said.

Authorities are still investigating dozens of other people in the case, Pizzi said.

Defense lawyers couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Volare Group, founded in 1998 by a group of investors from the northeastern Italy's Veneto region, ran flights to 20 European destinations with a fleet of 24 planes.

The group, which employed some 1,400 people, grounded all of its planes last year because of financial problems and shortly after declared itself insolvent.

According to the prosecutor, among the operations that brought the airline to its EUR500 million collapse were the high-cost rental of aircraft from satellite companies managed by relatives of Volare administrators and the sale at bargain prices of air tickets to tour operators run by friends of the group's managers.

Italian news agency ANSA said that in June Volare, which was placed under bankruptcy protection, will start operating 12 daily domestic flights from Milan's Linate airport to the southern cities of Naples, Bari, Brindisi and Catania at the cost of EUR40 each way.

ANSA said that 530,000 passengers who had their flights canceled during the company's collapse will be able to purchase new tickets with a 50% discount.
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Old June 4th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by IlliricumSacrum
Definitely agree. The EE long haul market is literally being destroyed by all this and LCC-s have experienced a big growth. If you take a look at Polish air traffic curve, you will see that LCC-s traffic has grown tremendously.

Say this merger happens...Would this trigger a chain reaction for other present companies merger/group/enlargment within the EU as a way to keep on track with new dynamics to be created?

How is the Italian domestic market doing? Is there any financial healthy company that can be handy to Alitalia's situation?
as hkskyline pointed out, the italian domestic market is -- at least financially -- in dire straits. the second largest carrier, Volare, went bankrupt last year. a couple more carriers are experiencing a serious crisis, so much that RyanAir has started operating domestic flights. the sitaution is a bit ironic, considering that Italy has all the ingredients to make the most important domestic market in the EU: a long, boot-shaped peninsula with two major islands and a mountain chain running through the country from north to south, which make train and car connections quite difficult. on top of that, millions of immigrants from the south who settled throughout the years in the industrial north make the demand of national flights quite significant. finally, the nation's capital and the main industrial, commercial and financial hub are over 500 km apart. but the flag carrier has been handled for decades as a political toy, without the slightest interest for the actual industrial and financial state of the company.
one example is quite instructive. in the early 90's, Alitalia CEO Cempedella tried to restructure the company by rationalizing the personnel and improving its finances. but when the Italian gov't decided to gradually privatize the Post Service, some 5/6'000 employees where transferred from the Post to Alitalia...and this is but one example.
the only real solution for the problem is to let Alitalia go bankrupt, and then let a strong partner come in and build a real industrial plan. with AF/KLM Alitalia would become a regional carrier, and Rome and Milan regional hubs feeding CDG and Schipol. so a better solution would be an extra-EU carrier, such as Emirates, which would be more interested in keeping a strong hub within European soil.
and there is no doubt that Rome will be left out. 70% of all the tickets, and something like 90% of business class tickets, are sold in the north, and Malpensa has a catchment area of 16 million. plus all financial and commercial transactions are based there. only tourism sustains Rome's Fiumicino airport. but that alone is not enough.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 05:52 PM   #24
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EU OKs Alitalia Restructuring Plan With Conditions
7 June 2005

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)--The European Commission Tuesday approved Italy's plan to restructure Alitalia SpA (AZA.MI), the struggling state-owned airline, after concluding that it "doesn't contain any state aid."

But, in exchange for granting approval, E.U. regulators are imposing "strict conditions" to ensure that the state's involvement is conducted under market conditions, according to E.U. Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot.

"We will take scrupulous care" to ensure that Italy pumps in no illegal aid, Barrot said.

The approval is a major boost to Alitalia, which would have almost certainly faced bankruptcy if the plan was vetoed.

The scheme involves a minority participation by the state in a EUR1.2 billion re-capitalization of Alitalia's flight division, AZ Fly, and the partial sale of its ground operations, AZ Services, to state-owned firm Fintecna. The state will also underwrite several million euros to cover the costs of layoffs.

The decision comes at a sensitive time, not only for the airline but for the Italian government's relations with the E.U. Commission as a whole. Later Tuesday, the Commission is expected to launch an excessive deficit procedure against Italy, saying its public deficits break E.U. rules and are worsening. The Commission is likely also to ask Italy to make spending cuts.

The Alitalia rescue comes with conditions. In April, Deutsche Bank AG (DB) wrote a letter of intent agreeing to guarantee the capital increase. For regulators, this move was crucial, since it showed that the private sector thought the recapitalization would produce a viable airline. The bank will be required to formalize this agreement. Another condition is that public and private investors receive the same conditions in the recapitalization.

Fintecna's plans to take a stake in the spun-off ground service unit through a planned EUR216 million re-capitalization will create returns consistent with what a private investor would expect.

In addition, Alitalia must repay an E.U.-approved bridging loan worth EUR400 million by December 31, 2005, at the latest, the Commission said, adding that Italy already had given it assurances that the loan would be repaid earlier, as soon as the recapitalization of AZ Fly has taken place.

Other European airlines, including British Airways PLC (BAB) and Germany's Lufthansa AG (LHA.XE), have lobbied hard against the bailout. They allege Alitalia has been using some of the government handouts to pursue "commercially suicidal" business practices to their detriment, including opening new routes and slashing ticket prices.

But the Commission said it had found no evidence to support these claims.

Under E.U. rules, governments can only save failing carriers once. Alitalia already has benefited from an EUR1.4 billion government-backed restructuring in 1997 and an EUR1.4 billion capital injection two years ago but the money did little to improve its results. The airline reported a net loss of EUR517 million for 2003 and has posted an annual profit only four times in the past 16 years.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 05:11 AM   #25
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Alitalia to propose 30:1 reverse share split
By Phil Stewart

ROME, June 27 (Reuters) - Italian airline Alitalia said on Monday it would propose a reverse split of its stock to shareholders and lengthening the maturity of its 2002-07 bond.

Loss-making Alitalia made the announcements ahead of a planned capital increase later this year of up to 1.2 billion euros ($1.46 billion), meant to fund a restructuring that envisions a company profit as early as 2006.

Alitalia said it planned to eliminate the so-called nominal value of its shares and, clearing the slates ahead of the capital increase, confirmed plans to write down accumulated losses through March 31 2005 against the company's value.

The airline said it would propose to shareholders swapping 30 existing shares for 1 new share.

"This operation, which will reduce the number of shares ... will favour liquidity and trading on the stock market, making the value of a single share of stock more legible, benefiting current and prospective investors," the company said in a statement.

The board of directors also proposed restructuring Alitalia's 2002-2007 convertible bond <IT333188=CSBL> carrying a 2.9 percent coupon.

It said it aimed to extend the maturity of the bond by three years to 2010, while increasing the coupon to 7.5 percent.

Alitalia said the bond restructuring proposal was made in light of data provided by financial adviser Deutsche Bank.

Alitalia said its net financial position, which measures indebtedness, narrowed to 1.791 billion euros by May 31 from 1.829 billion at the end of April.

Earlier on Monday, Alitalia shareholders approved tapping its various capital reserves to partly cover its revised 2004 loss of 810.4 million euros ($979.2 million).

Shareholders approved using 235.3 million euros from its reserves to partly cover the loss, which was revised down from the 812 million euros, which Alitalia reported last month.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 04:32 PM   #26
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Alitalia Flight Attendants To Strike July 18 -Officials
28 June 2005

ROME (AP)--Flight attendants at Italian state carrier Alitalia S.P.A (AZA.MI) called a daylong strike for July 18, threatening to ground scores of flights, union officials said Tuesday.

Cabin crews have walked off several times in recent months over concerns that include contract provisions and a restructuring plan at the airline. In April, a four-hour strike staged by flight attendants forced Alitalia to cancel 168 flights.

Separately, some of Italy's main transport union groups called a 24-hour mass transit strike for July 15 to protest sick leave reform.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 09:57 PM   #27
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the alitalia strikes hardly make any news anymore
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Old July 9th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #28
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Alitalia cancels 92 flights because of airport ground handler strike
7 July 2005

MILAN (AFX) - Alitalia SpA cancelled 92 flights because of a strike by airport ground handlers between 12.30pm and 4.30 pm, airline officials said.

The cancelled flights comprise 46 on domestic routes, and 46 on international trips, they said.

The workers are in dispute with airport companies, not Alitalia, they said.
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Old July 9th, 2005, 07:43 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Whereas Air France is undoubtedly Paris-based, and Lufthansa's home is Frankfurt, Alitalia has a split personality, with hubs in both Milan and Rome.
Lufthansa operates from three hubs, Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich (due to the merger with Swiss).
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Old July 9th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #30
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Alitalia sees H1 pretax, pre-ex loss 120 mln eur vs 329 mln yr ago
07.07.2005, 02:50 AM

MILAN (AFX) - Alitalia SpA said that losses before tax and extraordinary items narrowed to an estimated 120 mln eur in the first half from 329 mln a year earlier.

Revenues from passenger traffic rose to an estimated 1.735 bln eur in the first half from 1.509 bln a year earlier, the company said in a statement released late yesterday.

The statement clarifies comments made yesterday by Alitalia chairman and chief executive Giancarlo Cimoli, who said that first half losses were about 200 mln eur lower than the previous year and 80 mln eur ahead of budget.

Cimoli also said that first half passenger revenues were in line with budget.

pw/cml
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Old July 19th, 2005, 11:12 PM   #31
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Alitalia Is Forced to Cancel Flights
19 July 2005
The Wall Street Journal

ROME -- Italian airline Alitalia was forced to cancel about 80 flights yesterday because of a 24-hour strike by a flight attendants' union, a company spokesman said.

Alitalia had announced that 59 flights -- 26 national and 33 international -- would be canceled due to the strike.

The union called the stoppage to protest Alitalia's move to cut the number of cabin staff and its use of short-term contracts.
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Old July 31st, 2005, 08:00 PM   #32
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Alitalia Hldrs Approve EUR1.2B Rights Issue By End 05
31 July 2005

MILAN (Dow Jones)--Alitalia SpA (AZA.MI) shareholders late Friday approved a rights issue of up to EUR1.2 billion to shore up the troubled flagship airline.

Shareholders gave the carrier's board a mandate to hold a capital increase by the end of 2005.

Unprofitable Alitalia, which has lost EUR1.33 billion in the past two years. also wrote down the equity on its balance sheet to EUR291 million from EUR1.4 billion to cover past losses.

Shareholders of Alitalia, which is 62% owned by the Italian government, also agreed to abolish the face value of their shares, allowing them to sell new stock more easily. They also approved a 30-to-1 reverse split, to be executed in September, aimed at facilitating future trading.

Shares in Alitalia, which has a market capitalization of EUR940 million, Friday closed down 1.6% at EUR0.24.

In the past three months, they have oscillated as much as 22% in value but that translated into only EUR0.05 in change to the stock price.

Alitalia said earlier this month that Banca Intesa SpA (BIN.MI) will subscribe to a part of any capital increase. Attracting investors is essential as European Union regulators have insisted that the Italian state reduce its stake to below 50%.

The carrier also said it generated some cash in June, cutting its net debt at the end of that month to EUR1.75 billion from EUR1.79 billion at the end of May.

Bondholders also met Friday to approve a previously announced change to an outstanding convertible bond due in 2010, raising its coupon yield to 7.5% from 2.9% and extending it to July 2010 from July 2007.

Alitalia specified that most of its existing bank debt is backed by guarantees such as liens on its aircraft or assurances from state export credit agencies. A EUR400 million bridge loan from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein is also guaranteed by Italy's Economy Ministry, the company said.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 07:40 AM   #33
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no more strikes from AZ this week right?
someone knows where i could find information on them?
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Old August 12th, 2005, 06:57 AM   #34
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^ You can do a scan of any international news site and search for Alitalia.

Alitalia flight attendants union calls Aug. 30-31 strike
11 August 2005

ROME (AP) - A union for Alitalia flight attendants on Thursday called for a strike Aug. 30-31, raising the prospect of travel difficulties for Italians and tourists just as they head home from summer vacations.

The SULT union says it is protesting Alitalia's suspension of such arrangements as direct deduction of union dues from paychecks.

Alitalia claims it does not have to honor such arrangements because the union isn't acting in good faith during contract-renewal efforts.

Alitalia has been forced to cancel dozens of flights in recent weeks due to a string of strikes by flight attendants over contract disputes.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #35
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Alitalia says strike woes won't hurt turnaround

ROME, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Alitalia , facing a threatened peak-season strike next week by cabin crews, is confident that labour unrest will not hamper a turnaround plan at Italy's flag airline, Labour Minister Roberto Maroni said on Tuesday.

Maroni made the comments following a meeting with Alitalia's Chief Executive Officer Giancarlo Cimoli at which the two discussed a planned Aug. 30 to 31 strike by flight attendants in the SULT union, which is arguing for better contracts.

Alitalia is refusing to negotiate with SULT, and earlier this month deepened the standoff by refusing to further recognise the union formally -- an action questioned by Maroni.

"Cimoli did not appear worried about the harshness of the standoff and said that there will not be any big repercussions to the industrial plan," Maroni said.

"My impression is that Alitalia will not back down from its position."

Unlike Italy's biggest unions, the SULT did not sign off on Alitalia's turnaround plan last year.

The SULT confirmed again on Monday that it too would not back down from its strike, despite warnings of sanctions for breaking rules about industrial action during the July 27 to Sept. 5 peak season summer holidays.

Alitalia has already had to cancel hundreds of flights this year due to SULT union protests.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 02:29 AM   #36
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Good luck,Alitalia!
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Old August 30th, 2005, 04:25 PM   #37
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Report: Alitalia Considers Extra Layoffs
30 August 2005

ROME (AP) - Struggling Italian airline Alitalia might be forced to lay off an extra 2,000 people as part of its turnaround plan because of soaring oil prices, Italy's top financial daily reported Tuesday.

Alitalia said it had no comment on the report in Il Sole 24 Ore, which did not cite any sources.

The additional 2,000 layoffs would be in addition to the 3,700 layoffs among pilots, ground workers and flight attendants that state-run Alitalia has negotiated so far with unions.

Alitalia, which has not given recent figures on the impact of high oil prices, is trying to emerge from a deep financial crisis.

According to Italian news reports, higher fuel prices will cost the airline an additional 300 million to 400 million euros ($369 million to $492 million) between 2005 and 2008, the period covered by the turnaround plan.

The turnaround plan, approved late last year, allows for the separation of the airline's ground-service operations, to be called AZ Service, from its flight business, to be AZ Fly. The move, Alitalia hopes, will make it easier to get fresh new funds from private investors for the flight company, and should eventually lead to privatization.
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Old September 6th, 2005, 02:34 AM   #38
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Alitalia Flight Attendants Push Ahead With Sep 6-7 Strike
05 September 2005

ROME (AP)-A union that represents flight attendants for Italian airline Alitalia SpA (AZA.MI) said Monday it would go ahead with a strike planned for this week despite a government ban on the walkout.

The two-day strike is scheduled to begin 00:01 a.m. (2201 GMT) Tuesday and end at 11:59 p.m. (2159 GMT) Wednesday, the Sult union said.

Friday the transport ministry ordered the strike be postponed, threatening sanctions against workers who take part in the protest.

Alitalia has not canceled any flights ahead of the walkout, but the protest is expected to cause severe disruption to air travel throughout the country.

In recent months the carrier has been forced to scrub dozens of flights due to a string of strikes by flight attendants over contract disputes.

The walkout by Sult was originally set for Aug. 30-31, but was put off by a week because Italian law prohibits transport strikes during the heavy travel weeks of August.

"We will not accept the ministry's order, as we had already accepted the invitation to delay the strike," said Sult official Andrea Cavola. "We take full responsibility for this action."

Alitalia has been dogged by labor disputes as it tries to restructure and turn its business fortunes around.

Italy's flagship airline has refused to recognize Sult as a party in negotiations, contending it has not adhered to agreements. The union denies the accusations.
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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:11 PM   #39
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Alitalia cancels 24 flights on 2nd day of strike

ROME, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Italian airline Alitalia said on Wednesday it had cancelled another 24 flights on the second and last day of a strike by cabin crews with the SULT union, locked in a contract dispute.

The cancellations come on top of the 28 flights that Alitalia said it scrapped on Tuesday.

The SULT union accused Alitalia of low-balling the figures. By the union's count, there were 39 cancellations on Wednesday and at least 50 on Tuesday.

Either way, the strike was far less damaging than previous industrial action by unions this year.

Alitalia has refused to negotiate with SULT and has said the labour unrest will not hamper a turnaround plan meant to stem gaping losses that exceeded 800 million euros ($998.6 million) last year.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #40
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This is precisely why I used IBeria, and not Alitalia, to fly to Italy.
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