After several months of negotiations, the Italian government accepted the proposal made by the companies Atlantia and Delta Air Lines to rescue the airline Alitalia, in state intervention since 2017.
Atlantia, which operates in road and airport concessions and belongs to the Benetton group, is expected to pay 300 million euros to keep 35% of the airline. Ferrovie dello Stato, the state-owned rail company that now controls Alitalia, will own another 35%, while the remainder will be divided by Italy’s Ministry of Economy (15%) and Delta Air Lines, which could increase its stake in the future.
Atlantia is the largest motorway operator in Italy and has the concession of two airports in Rome. However, the company had been questioned by the subsidiary Autostrade, which was responsible for the bridge that collapsed in Genoa last year victimizing 43 people.
In practice, Alitalia will remain under state control at the first moment, which is a reason for protests by the opposition to the current government. According to Ferrovie dello Stato, the new consortium will begin work as soon as possible to establish a recovery plan that will make the airline return to positive results. Currently Alitalia has a daily loss 1 million euros.
During the period in which he studied a solution for Alitalia, the government received varied proposals such as companies like Lufthansa and Norwegian Air. Some of them proposed dividing the company and buying only its healthy part.
In the end, the Italian government had three proposals: in addition to Delta and Atlantia, the other two interested were an Italian group and Germán Efromovich, owner of Avianca Brasil, a company that is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Both proposals were rejected, but it would be ironic if the businessman was named “savior” of Alitalia after taking his airline in Brazil to accumulate more than $800 million of debt, not to mention the numerous employees dismissed without receiving what they are entitled to.