Time flies, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday that Alitalia was finally being privatized, but it’s actually been a few months. I thought it was time to check in on the airline to see how it’s doing. Anyone want to make any bets?
Of course, the airline isn’t doing well at all. It is projected to lose 200 million euros for 2009. That may sound like a big number for an airline that shrunk dramatically after its restructuring, but . . . uh, yeah that is a pretty big number. Granted, it’s far less than what the airline was going to lose in 2008, but really that’s a given. If they couldn’t improve on what the bungling government was doing, then there would have been no hope at all.
So are people flocking back to Alitalia now that it’s under new management? Hardly. The airline was crowing that it had bumped its load factor up to 59%. It had apparently been down around 43% so this is good news. I believe Alitalia will soon be launching its new ad campaign, “Fly Us and Get an Empty Middle Seat.” Catchy, no?
And the news doesn’t get much better. Remember that Lufthansa started up its own Lufthansa Italia subsidiary to fly between Italy and other EU markets? Well they’re heading for the Italian domestic market now as well. In April, Lufthansa will start flying from Milan to Bari, Naples, and most importantly, Rome, the crown jewel domestic market.
But at least labor relations are going well. The unions haven’t struck since, well, yesterday. Ok, maybe that’s not so good either. They had planned a 24 hour strike yesterday to protest their treatment by the new management team. I didn’t hear anything about whether or not that disrupted any flights or not, but maybe that’s just not considered news anymore.
Thanks for continuing to provide me with excellent blog fodder, Alitalia.