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Old January 11th, 2006, 03:32 AM   #61
DonQui
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That is going to blow up in their faces massively.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 03:41 AM   #62
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I doubt theyll actually do it, imo its just for publicity
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Old January 20th, 2006, 03:42 AM   #63
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Alitalia Strike Cancels Dozens Of Flights
19 January 2006

ROME (AP)--Employees at Italy's Alitalia SpA (AZA.MI) went on strike Thursday, forcing the state airline to cancel dozens of flights, although the two sides disagreed on exactly how many.

Labor unions called the strike to protest restructuring at the loss-making airline that has cut jobs and spun off the airline's flight unit from its less-profitable ground services business.

The company originally planned to cancel 74 flights on the day of the strike, but union officials told the ANSA news agency Thursday that Alitalia was forced to cancel more than 150 flights following a strong employee participation in the strike.

Alitalia disputed those numbers, saying the company decided earlier this week to cancel 74 flights, and on Wednesday decided to cancel 24 more because there weren't enough aircraft available to rotate, partly because of the strike.

On Thursday, the carrier canceled 11 more flights but said that was for technical or weather related reasons.

The Rome-based airline operates 190 aircraft and flies to 500 destinations in more than 100 countries.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 03:07 AM   #64
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Alitalia Workers Plan Second Walkout Within A Week
20 January 2006

ROME (AP)--Unions called a strike at Alitalia (AZA.MI)for Monday, the second 24-hour strike at the ailing carrier in less than a week, while the airline warned travelers that continuing labor unrest could force the cancellation or delay of 130 flights Saturday.

A one-day strike by state railway workers also loomed for next week, as labor unrest flared up after a holiday truce for Christmas and New Year's.

Some of the airline's workers picketed outside Rome's main airport Friday, reportedly causing delays and cancellations.

Italy's authority regulating strikes declared Monday's planned walkout illegal.

"Because of the continuing in the next days of illegal union actions" and despite the declaration of the strike's illegality, Alitalia said in a statement Friday night, Saturday's operations could see "delays and cancellations estimated at this moment to number 130."

Ground and flight crew from Alitalia would walk off the job Monday, following the breakdown of negotiations with the government, said Mauro Rossi, an official with Filt-Cgil transport union.

The latest job stoppage will likely force Alitalia to scrap many national and international flights, as it did Thursday, when employees struck for the day.

Workers are protesting restructuring plans at the loss-making airline, which have included cutting jobs and spinning off the airline's flight unit from its less profitable ground services business.

Some 500 demonstrators continued the protest early Friday, grouping outside a staff entrance of Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport and triggering the cancellation of several flights, the news agency ANSA reported.

Alitalia said it could not immediately give information on flight cancellations from Friday's labor unrest.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted union officials as saying they needed to strike now because walkouts will be forbidden by law during a truce period running between February and April to cover the Turin Winter Olympics, national elections on April 9 and the holiday stretch around Easter, April 16.

A train strike also loomed in Italy. State railways said train operators have called for a 24-hour strike starting from 9 p.m. (2000 GMT) Jan. 26. Train workers have staged several strikes in recent months to press for better safety on the rails and improved working conditions.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 09:16 AM   #65
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Alitalia scraps 66 flights, unions eye shutdown
By Valentina Consiglio

ROME, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Angry workers forced Italy's largest airline, Alitalia, to cancel at least 66 flights on Saturday and warned they were ready to ground the carrier over a turnaround-plan embraced by many investors.

The Italian government, which has a nearly 50 percent stake in the airline, called for a meeting next week with labour leaders threatening a 24-hour strike on Monday.

Unions already also forced Alitalia to cancel 74 flights on Thursday and at least five more on Friday.

Labour leaders were considering whether to scrap the formal Monday strike, due to the government's willingness to sit down with them on Wednesday. But irregular industrial unrest continued on Saturday, which could prove equally troublesome for the airline.

"From tonight, all of Alitalia's planes risk staying on the ground because the company does not have the personnel to make the technical checks indispensable to get them in the air," Filt Cgil union secretary Fabrizio Solari told Reuters.

Alitalia confirmed 66 cancellations in a statement late on Saturday and warned of more to come.

"Because of the illegitimate union initiatives during the previous days, there could be further delays and cancellations in the coming days ahead," it said.

Beyond contractual disputes, unions are worried about Alitalia's spin-off of ground services, which absorbed thousands of workers. Their futures appears increasingly decoupled from Alitalia's slimmed-down flying unit.

Labour leaders also fear the company's turnaround plan will fail to deliver promises, including profits in 2006.

The industrial action is putting considerable pressure on Alitalia's CEO Giancarlo Cimoli, the architect of the turnaround plan.

Italy's leading financial daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, reported on Saturday that Alitalia's turnover from passengers, including fuel surcharges, was around 147 million euros ($177.7 million) short of the budget by Dec. 15, 2005, at 3.575 billion euros.

The newspaper cited an internal document dated Dec. 16.

It also said the 2005 result pointed to an operating loss of around 200 million euros in 2006.

But analysts say Alitalia's turnaround plan holds promise. Deutsche Bank recommended buying the stock last week.

It pointed to Alitalia's forecast for a profit in 2006 and said its cost-cutting programme was about 80 percent complete, following job cuts and the spin-off of ground services.

Deutsche Bank also said Alitalia's plans to acquire low-cost airline Volare could be positive, thanks to its valuable slots out of Milan's Linate airport.

A decision on whether Alitalia's bid for Volare will be accepted could come as early as next week.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 04:08 PM   #66
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Italy PM Berlusconi Says Alitalia Privatization Difficult
23 January 2006

ROME (Dow Jones)--Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Monday said the privatization of state-controlled flagship carrier Alitalia Spa (AZA.MI) was a difficult task.

"I don't think it is so easy to make such a decision," as the government has to take into account the country's pride in the airline, Berlusconi told a radio show when asked about Alitalia's privatization.

Asked why he didn't use a strong majority in parliament to push the privatization forward, the premier said there was a party in his ruling coalition which was against letting market forces prevail.

Alitalia is quoted on the Milan stock market, and a EUR1 billion capital increase launched last November reduced the Economy Ministry's ownership to 49.9% from over 60%. Nevertheless, Italy's government remains by far the biggest shareholder.

Berlusconi added that with fewer strikes, the company would be in better shape. Alitalia's workers continued wildcat protests on Monday, after a strike last Friday which continued into the weekend.
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Old January 23rd, 2006, 04:09 PM   #67
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Protests at Italy's Alitalia continue; labor minister warns of airline's possible bankruptcy
By AIDAN LEWIS
Associated Press Writer
23 January 2006

ROME (AP) - Italy's Alitalia expected cancellations or delays for as many as 250 flights Monday as workers held wildcat protests, while the labor minister warned in an interview that the government will not bail out the troubled airline.

Though unions called off a 24-hour strike for Monday, Alitalia workers picketed at Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci airport, gathering round fires in the early morning cold.

Alitalia said in a statement that it was expecting the protests to trigger as many as 250 delays and cancellations. It said similar protests Sunday had forced the airline to scrap 121 flights.

Workers are protesting restructuring plans at the loss-making airline, which include cutting jobs and spinning off the airline's flight unit from its less profitable ground services business.

Amid speculation about the company's future Alitalia shares dropped sharply on the Milan stock exchange Monday, down 7.7 percent at euro1.05 (US$1.27) by early afternoon.

Roberto Maroni, labor minister in Premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right government, told La Repubblica newspaper that the protests could lead Alitalia to bankruptcy.

"At the end of this route you go straight to the courthouse with the account books, you get to the bankruptcy of Alitalia," Maroni was quoted as saying.

Maroni said the European Union would not allow the government to bail out the airline, as it has done in the past. "Today, therefore, there's no more space to negotiate and to talk about money," he told the paper.

Maroni added bankruptcy could be positive for Alitalia in the long run, saying: "To allow a company that is in crisis to be reborn and to really compete on the market, you need to re-found it."

Some in the government hope the restructuring plan will eventually lead to privatization, though Berlusconi said on a radio show Monday that it had not been possible to privatize the airline so far because of differences within his coalition.

In a clear sign of that, Agriculture Minister Gianni Alemanno said in another interview, published Monday in Corriere della Sera, that letting Alitalia go bust would be "madness."

"Our country stakes a lot on tourism raising our GDP, and having a flagship airline is essential for this aim," said Alemanno, who belongs to the right-wing Alleanza Nazionale party that has traditionally supported companies owned or controlled by the state.

Alitalia negotiated a euro1 billion (US$1.2 billion) recapitalization last year to cut the state's stake to below 50 percent from 62.4 percent, in line with European Union requirements.

The airline said Monday that the government stake stands at 49.9 percent.

Wildcat stoppages were expected to continue ahead of a meeting planned for Wednesday between unions and government representatives.

Alitalia workers have been protesting since Thursday, causing travel chaos and hundreds of cancellations of national and international flights.

The Rome-based airline operates 190 aircraft and flies to 500 destinations in more than 100 countries.
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Old January 24th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #68
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Berlusconi says Alitalia restructuring must go on

ROME, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Alitalia must push ahead with a restructuring plan and face down wildcat strikers who have paralysed the airline over the past week, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Tuesday.

The premier played down talk by some of his ministers that they would not mind if Alitalia went bust, saying the flag carrier's existence was a matter of national pride -- comments that helped stem a share price plunge that started on Monday.

Alitalia warned customers that up to 250 flights would be cancelled or delayed during the day because of a protest by workers opposed to splitting off the airline's ground operations -- a core element of CEO Giancarlo Cimoli's restructuring plan.

"I don't think it's possible not to go ahead with the plan presented by Cimoli to international investors, not without reimbursing those investors with the capital they put in," Berlusconi told RAI radio.

The strike, which has forced Alitalia to cancel hundreds of flights over the past six days, comes weeks after the company raised 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) from a do-or-die capital increase.

The prime minister hinted at sending in the military to break up the protest, which is not sanctioned by the main unions. "We may get to that point, but we will try to avoid it because we know tragedies could happen," he said.

"LIKE LEMMINGS"

The cabinet will meet unions on Wednesday but opinions vary within the government on what, if anything, the state can do.

European Union rules ban state aid to airlines and the restructure, in which the state reduced its stake to less than 50 percent, was meant to create a profitable airline that needed no hand-outs.

Labour Minister Roberto Maroni fuelled a 9 percent drop in Alitalia shares on Monday when he suggested it might be time to allow the airline -- which has been propped up by the state several times in the past -- to go bankrupt.

"I don't know what the unions will ask us for on Wednesday," he said. "My impression is that some people in Rome think Alitalia must survive and that the government has the duty to support it at all times and in all ways. This is not the case."

Berlusconi is walking a delicate political line ahead of a general election scheduled for April 9. As a professed economic liberal he backs the modernisation plan, but is also wary of any prolonged, bitter dispute in the run-up to the vote.

"We need to see in the coming days if we can get an answer which takes account of citizens' rights," he said. "It seems right that a country has pride in having its own airline."

The comments stemmed further losses to Alitalia's share price, which was down a further 3 percent at the open. At 1145 GMT the stock was trading up 2 percent at 1.064 euros.

The strikes have stranded thousands of passengers and will punch another hole in the airline's accounts and its reputation for reliability among customers.

"Like lemmings guided by their own instincts, the unions and workers at Alitalia are committing mass suicide," leading daily Corriere della Sera said in a front-page editorial.

Workers were wrong if they imagined government policy might change if the centre left won the election, the paper said, as a new administration would be keen to avoid appearing weak in the face of union pressure.

The strikers are concerned for the future of ground operations which, under Cimoli's plan, have been split off from the main flying part of the airline into a company called AZ Services, controlled by state-owned holding company Fintecna.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 03:51 AM   #69
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Alitalia's future in the balance as wildcat strikes continue
By AIDAN LEWIS
24 January 2006

ROME (AP) - A flurry of wildcat strikes have put the future of Alitalia back on the line, overshadowing the company's hard-fought efforts to restructure and the euro1 billion capital increase it managed to secure at the end of last year.

The walkout by ground workers protesting the restructuring plans have caused travel chaos, with hundreds of flights canceled over the past five days. A Cabinet minister has even raised the prospect of bankruptcy.

While analysts say there is no immediate risk of that, questions remain over Alitalia's long-term prospects.

"Sooner or later one needs to open one's eyes and recognize that the arrival of low cost companies has completely revolutionized air transport," Financial daily Il Sole-24 Ore said Tuesday.

Premier Silvio Berlusconi's government, which holds a 49.9 percent stake in Alitalia, has talked tough. With general elections looming, the government can ill-afford the collapse of the national carrier.

Berlusconi has threatened force to stop the protests, saying they "do not take into account the needs of the citizens." Labor Minister Roberto Maroni said the protests set Alitalia on the road to bankruptcy and warned that the government cannot bail the company out.

"The longer Alitalia stays at a standstill, the more it loses market share, customers," Maroni said in an interview with online paper Affaritaliani.it.

Alitalia, long cash-strapped amid political interference and bulging labor costs, has posted a profit in just four of the past 16 years. The airline has also struggled amid fierce competition from European budget carriers as well as soaring fuel and labor costs.

Though unions approved the 2004 restructuring plan -- which includes cutting jobs and spinning off the flight unit from the less profitable ground services business -- they claim Alitalia's management has not stuck to the working conditions they agreed to.

Government officials are due to negotiate with labor unions Wednesday, and the unions warn that if they are not satisfied with the meeting they could violate a nationwide strike truce timed to cover the Turin Winter Olympics.

"A company in this state can't do much," Maroni said, reiterating that the European Union would not allow government aid for the airline.

Agriculture Minister Gianni Alemanno said that in Wednesday's critical meeting "the government will be listening, to comprehend the (unions') claims and to see if they have to do with the industrial plan and its implementation."

The protests have sent the company's shares plunging, with Alitalia stock falling by almost 9 percent Monday on the Milan stock exchange. On Tuesday, the shares recovered slightly, climbing back 2.9 percent to euro1.07 (US$1.31).

Analysts attributed the rise to Berlusconi's comments in support of the turnaround plan. But those who hoped the restructuring would eventually lead to privatization found reason for disappointment.

"I don't think that the problem would be solved through a privatization of Alitalia because wildcat strikes would continue," Berlusconi said.

He has also acknowledged that "national pride" in the flagship carrier has prevented his government from backing privatization.

Alitalia -- which is a member of the SkyTeam alliance that includes Air France, Delta Air Lines, Czech airline CSA and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines -- has been looking for strategic partners for years.

Il Sole insisted that the company "must look for economies of scale and the right international alliances."

Analysts say a recent euro1 billion (US$1.2 billion) recapitalization, part of the restructuring plan, should allow the company some breathing room.

"The short-term threat from its balance sheet is no longer present, giving the management team time to implement their restructuring," said Chris Avery, an analyst with JP Morgan.

But even if money from the recapitalization can tide Alitalia over, its ability to survive in the long term is unclear.

"Time is not infinite and the European Commission has banned further state aid," Avery said.

Berlusconi's coalition, already trailing the opposition ahead of the April election, is unlikely to take any steps that might anger Italians. Besides, coalition forces are divided over what to do with the airline.

Ministers from the National Alliance, a right-wing party in Berlusconi's coalition that has traditionally favored state industry, have suggested the airline should be protected from failing -- resisting Maroni's call for Alitalia to be left at the mercy of market forces.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #70
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Italian government, unions meet as protests by Alitalia workers continue
By ARIEL DAVID
25 January 2006

ROME (AP) - Premier Silvio Berlusconi's top aide and several ministers sat down with Italy's main labor leaders Wednesday to try to resolve a dispute that has grounded hundreds of Alitalia flights at a time when the airline is struggling to survive.

Outside the premier's office, where the meeting began in early afternoon, hundreds of workers held placards and shouted slogans like, "Berlusconi, we are here. We await you."

The meeting was suspended mid-afternoon, and it was not immediately clear when -- or if -- it would resume. A spokesman for one of the ministers at the meeting said the government would ask Alitalia Chief Executive Giancarlo Cimoli to resume talks with the unions.

The ailing airline, meanwhile, warned travelers that more than 200 flights risked being canceled on Wednesday, as the protests showed no sign of letup.

With a 24-hour train strike slated to begin on Thursday evening in an unrelated labor dispute and an election campaign for the premiership heating up, pressure was building on the government to get the Alitalia workers back on the job.

The workers are protesting Alitalia's restructuring plans, including cutting jobs and spinning off the airline's flight unit from its less profitable ground services business.

They have been picketing at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport for days.

The Italian government holds a 49.9 percent stake in loss-making Alitalia, whose future is on the line.

Among participants in the talks was Labor Minister Roberto Maroni, who has raised the specter of bankruptcy for the airline if strikes continue, and has warned that the government won't bail out Alitalia. Berlusconi's right-hand man, Cabinet Undersecretary Gianni Letta, was also attending.

Representing labor at the talks were the heads of Italy's three main nationwide labor confederations.

In an interview on Sky TG24, Berlusconi denounced the unions.

"Citizens should know that if they are camped out in the airport it is the fault of unions on the left," the conservative premier said.

Much of Italy's labor movement sympathizes with the left.

One of the union leaders at the meeting, Savino Pezzotta, criticized the government for not including Alitalia's management in Wednesday's talks.

It is necessary "to start the negotiations, understand everybody's reasons and find solutions," Pezzotta, who heads the CISL labor confederation, told La Repubblica in an interview published Wednesday.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 03:00 AM   #71
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Labor Heads To Urge End To Alitalia Wildcat Strikes
25 January 2006

ROME (AP)--Union leaders said Wednesday they were appealing to Alitalia (AZA.MI) workers to suspend wildcat strikes that have forced the ailing airline to cancel hundreds of flights.

Luigi Angeletti, who heads one of Italy's three main labor confederations, told reporters that the call to suspend the unrest was being issued because unions would meet with Alitalia management and the government Feb. 1. [ 25-01-06 1615GMT ]

"We will explain to our workers that since the objective was to be heard...now it is possible to stop this extreme form" of protest, Angeletti said at a news conference at the premier's office.

Angeletti and other major Italian union leaders spoke at the end of a meeting with Premier Silvio Berlusconi's top aide and several ministers about how to resolve the protests, which have threatened Alitalia's future.

There was no immediate reaction from Alitalia.

The airline had said that more than 200 flights risked being scrapped Wednesday. The last few days had seen striking workers also force cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Even if workers immediately heed the labor leaders' appeal to return to the jobs, flight operations could continue to be hampered until all maintenance of aircraft is restored.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 07:44 PM   #72
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Alitalia strikers return to work

ROME, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) - Alitalia staff slowly returned to work Thursday after a more than a week of labour unrest, but the airline was still forced to cancel some 170 flights as a backlog of aircraft had to be checked by returning maintenance personnel.

Italy's three main unions called an uneasy truce and asked their members to suspend industrial action after talks late Wednesday with government officials.

The government and unions will hold another meeting on February 1, which Alitalia's management will also attend.

"The government is working for a solution" to the crisis, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told Italian radio.

Alitalia had to cancel several hundred flights since last Thursday, costing it an estimated 10 million euros a day.

Labour Minister Roberto Maroni told parliament on Wednesday the accumulated losses due to work stoppages over four days had cost more than the 39 million euro net loss the company reported for the first nine months of last year.

Unions have been protesting a restructuring plan, which includes 3,700 layoffs and the sale of a majority stake in the airline's ground service to state-owned Fintecna.

Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti said the plan is the only way to save the airline and avoid bankruptcy.

In a statement after Wednesday's meeting, the government said it wants Alitalia's operations to return to normal, partly for the benefit of passengers.
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Old January 27th, 2006, 05:13 AM   #73
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Investors bet on Alitalia, despite strike
By Pratima Desai

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Despite wildcat strikes and talk of bankruptcy hanging over Alitalia, two investors have bought big stakes in the carrier, and hedge fund sources say it is part of a trend to buy airlines seen as cheap in a bull market.

London-based Walter Capital Management and Newton Investment Management acquired a 12.4 percent stake in the Italy's biggest airline last month, according to Italian watchdog Consob. Neither fund is known as a vulture-style asset stripper.

"Newton is a long-term investor and bought the stock in a recent issue as it is positive on the company's outlook," said Newton, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Mellon Financial Corp.. Newton has 4.2 percent of Alitalia's stock.

Walter Capital, known in the hedge fund industry as a value investor with around $2 billion under management, holds around 8.19 percent of Alitalia's stock and is the biggest shareholder after the Italian government, which holds 49.9 percent. No one at Walter Capital was available for comment.

The airline has posted a profit just once in the last decade and lagged European peers in lowering costs to compete with the rise of budget carriers.

Labour Minister Roberto Maroni fuelled a 9 percent drop in Alitalia shares on Monday when he suggested it might be time to allow the airline to go bankrupt.

SPURRED BY STRIKE

Strikes at Alitalia this month by trade unions who oppose splitting off ground operations triggered a fresh wave of hedge fund buying. Proposed restructuring, job and cost cuts have persuaded the investors that the airline is worth a punt, sources say.

"Hedge funds bought when Alitalia staff went on strike and they bought BA (British British) in the summer when there were strikes (at airline caterer Gate Gourmet)," a hedge fund manager said.

"Strikes are about working conditions and money and airline unions in most recent cases have lost ... That's generally good for the health of a airline."

The airline's 1 billion euro rights issue late last year, coordinated by Deutsche Bank, did worry investors, given that it was more than the carrier's 800 million euros market capitalisation at that time, but not enough to sell the shares.

Alitalia's shares were last trading up 4.6 percent at about 1.11 euros, a rise of around 20 percent since early December.

Deutsche Bank started coverage of the Italian airline this month with a "buy" recommendation.

"From where I'm standing it looks like a smart bet," a hedge fund trader said. "The rights issue at a big discount helped line the coffers for a battle with the unions."

A TREND

Alitalia is part of a general trend towards greater investor interest in airlines in many countries around the world, with possibly the main exception being the United States, sources said.

"In the U.S., they just go into Chapter 11 (bankruptcy) and then start again," a hedge fund investor said. "But in most cases airline stocks are seen as cheap and laggards in a bull market ... They have a lot of turnaround potential."

Air Canada, a unit of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., has also attracted the attention of hedge funds and other fund managers, sources say.

The Montreal-based airline said in December that it had achieved a record load factor -- a measure of how many seats it has filled -- for the 20th month running in November.

U.S.-based Cerberus Capital Management has a small stake, less than 1 percent, in ACE Aviation and Franklin Mutual Advisers has nearly 9 percent, according to Reuters data.

"Airline pricing power is much better at the moment ... discounting is rare," the investor said. "The caveat is oil prices ... There may be another shock, but the thinking is that the worst is over, for now anyway."

Oil hit a record high above $70 a barrel after Hurricane Katrina and is currently trading at around $66 a barrel. (Additional reporting by Gerard Wynn)
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Old January 27th, 2006, 05:14 AM   #74
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I wonder how much better the company would do if it simply left Milan as the sole hub.

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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:35 AM   #75
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Alitalia says Volare buy can open low-cost market

ROME, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Italy's largest airline Alitalia said on Saturday its plan to buy Volare, a smaller carrier in extraordinary administration, is in line with its industrial plan and will allow it to compete in the low-cost market.

Alitalia , which is trying to emerge from years of losses and recent crippling strikes, said in a statement that its 38 million euro bid for Volare would not burden it with any significant debt and offered new routes and airport slots.

Under its 2005-2008 industrial plan Alitalia is looking to significantly increase its domestic revenues and win back market share ceded to rivals including Air One and Ryan Air .

Buying Volare is "fully consistent" with the industrial plan, Alitalia said, "making it possible to compete effectively in the low-cost/leisure segment where the company is currently absent."

It will give Alitalia new slots at some of Italy's main airports including Milan's Linate, the company said, and will offer new routes to Mauritius, Cuba, Mexico (Mexico City and Cancun), the Maldives and Sri Lanka (Colombo).

It will also not saddle Alitalia with any debt linked to Volare's previous activity other than some 700,000 euros of employee severance pay funds, Alitalia said.

Volare has 707 employees, of whom around 70 percent are pilots and cabin crew, Alitalia said.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #76
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Alitalia: Volare Buy In Line With Business Plan
29 January 2006

MILAN (Dow Jones)--Alitalia SpA (AZA.MI) said Saturday its plan to buy Italian low-cost carrier Volare SpA is in line with its 2005-2008 business plan, adding that the acquisition would allow it to compete in the low-cost market.

Alitalia is looking to significantly increase domestic revenue as per its business plan.

A Volare acquisition is "fully consistent" with the industrial plan and makes it possible (for Alitalia) to compete in the low-cost/leisure segment where the company is currently absent," Alitalia said in a statement.

Italy's largest carrier said that it will acquire Volare for EUR38 million through a new company controlled by Alitalia.

Volare was declared insolvent in November 2004.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 12:28 AM   #77
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Rome court blocks Alitalia's attempt to buy insolvent low-cost carrier Volare
30 January 2006

ROME (AP) - A Rome court on Monday blocked Alitalia SpA's attempt to buy insolvent low-cost carrier Volare.

The court agreed with Alitalia rival Air One, which argued that the Italian flagship carrier received state aid and thus should not be allowed to buy Volare.

Alitalia said it would appear the ruling.

Since 1997, state-controlled Alitalia received some €3.6 billion (US$4.35 billion) under government-back restructuring.

Alitalia said on Saturday that it planned buy Volare for €38 million (US$45.9 million) by setting up a new company.

Faced with waves of labor unrest, loss-making Alitalia is battling to survive. On Wednesday, representatives of the Italian government, Alitalia and unions are scheduled to meet in a bid to defuse tensions and make headway in securing a future for the airline.
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Old February 2nd, 2006, 06:14 PM   #78
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Alitalia says Jan strikes cost 60-80 mln euros

ROME, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Strikes last month at Alitalia cost Italy's largest airline between 60 and 80 million euros ($96.49 million) in lost revenue, Chief Executive Giancarlo Cimoli said on Thursday.

Unions staged the industrial action over fears that Alitalia is pushing ahead too quickly with a spin-off in ground services. Labour is also concerned that Cimoli's turnaround plan, which calls for profit in 2006, will fail to rescue the airline.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 02:51 AM   #79
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Italy Labor Min:Alitalia Won't Get Another Cent From Govt
7 February 2006

ROME (AP)--The Italian government cannot give another cent to help out ailing Alitalia (AZA.MI), Labor Minister Roberto Maroni said Tuesday.

The government holds a just-under 50% stake in the flagship carrier. Before a recent rights issue, its stake was 62%.

The European Commission has banned further state aid for Alitalia. Maroni, on a TV talk show, was reiterating warnings that the government cannot bail out the company.

"The government cannot, and I say, must not, give a cent" to Alitalia, the Italian news agency ANSA quoted the minister as saying on private La7 TV.

"I'm not rooting for its failure, but Alitalia must stay on the market. The unions cannot think that they can do what they want, then the government shows up and writes a check," Maroni was quoted as saying.

Alitalia was recently rocked by wildcat strikes, which forced it to cancel hundreds of flights. Unions approved a 2004 restructuring plan that includes job cuts and spinning off the flight unit from the less profitable ground services, but workers insist that Alitalia's management is not sticking to agreed working conditions.
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Old February 28th, 2006, 02:38 AM   #80
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Alitalia's Loss Narrows Sharply in 2005
By MARIA SANMINIATELLI
27 February 2006

ROME (AP) - The Italian flagship carrier Alitalia said Monday its loss narrowed sharply in 2005 due to higher revenue and lower labor costs.

Alitalia SPA released its financial results for last year a day before the latest summit of government officials, management and unions leaders over the airline's battle for survival.

The company said it lost 167 million euros ($197.9 million) in 2005 versus a loss of 858 million euros in 2004.

Its revenue rose 11.6 percent to 4.8 billion euros ($5.7 billion) as the number of passengers traveling on Alitalia increased by 7.8 percent to 23.9 million from 2004.

Its labor costs fell by 114 million euros ($135.1 million), according to the new International Financial Reporting Standards, in line with a four-year rescue plan the carrier approved last year.

"The measures undertaken during 2005 have allowed (the company) to experience, overall, marked improvements on Alitalia's economic and operative progress ... registering a definite trend reversal compared with the recent past," the carrier said.

Alitalia, struggling with labor costs, has posted a profit in just four of the past 16 years, and, like other longtime European carriers, is buffeted by fierce competition from upstart budget airliners. Soaring fuel costs have also complicated Alitalia's turnaround efforts.

Alitalia lost 520 million euros in 2003, while it managed a small profit of 93 million euros in 2002.

Unions approved a 2004 plan including job cuts and a spinoff of the flight unit from the less profitable ground services businesses. But they claim Alitalia has not kept to its word on working conditions.

Last week, Italy's industry ministry announced that the labor and industry ministers would meet on Tuesday with the heads of Italy's main labor federations and unions for Alitalia's pilots, as well as other workers and airline management.

Labor Minister Roberto Maroni has repeatedly warned the unions that the government cannot bail out Alitalia, which has been hoping that job cuts, other restructuring and a capital increase of 1 billion euros (nearly $1.2 billion) can save it.

Earlier this year, a spate of wildcat strikes over the restructuring plans raised further questions about Alitalia's viability.

Premier Silvio Berlusconi's government, which holds a 49.9 percent stake in Alitalia has talked tough, but with elections scheduled for April, the government can ill-afford the collapse of the national carrier.

Alitalia on Monday night stuck to a prediction made last month that it will return to profit this year, but warned the outlook could change after a board meeting March 10 to evaluate the damage from the recent strikes.
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