It’s time for an Alitalia update, and I can’t say I’m happy about this one. Not only is Alitalia making money, but it may try to sell itself to Air France/KLM (even though success seems unlikely). This airline just haven’t given me much to work with in the way of screwing people over lately, and that’s no fun at all.
By the way, just to set the record straight, Alitalia is still the reigning Worst Airline Ever. You might recall the recent post where Mexicana became the new holder of that title, but Mexicana is gone. And as we all know, if the winner is unable to fulfill its duties as Worst Airline Ever, the runner-up steps into its place. So, Alitalia, welcome back.
But Alitalia isn’t acting like the airline that we used to know and hate. In fact, in the third quarter, Alitalia made €39 million. I realize that in this climate, every airline should be able to make money, but if you want to be the worst airline ever, certainly you should still post a loss. And the load factor climbed to a somewhat-respectable 76 percent. Ah, come on. That’s just not right.
At least the first 9 months of the year still showed up €125 million in the red, so there is hope that this is just a temporary blip. But what if Alitalia doesn’t stay around long enough for us to know for sure? Apparently, CEO Rocco Sabelli is revealing in an upcoming book that he’s going to try to sell the airline to Air France/KLM, an airline conglomerate which already owns 25 percent of Alitalia.
Now, this has been a possibility for ages. With Alitalia a member of SkyTeam and firmly entrenched in the Air France/KLM sphere of influence, a takeover seems quite logical. We’ve seen Lufthansa do it with airlines like Swiss and Brussels. It takes over airlines but runs them separately. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen with Alitalia.
But Rocco does say in this book (what kind of weird book is this?) that he thinks shareholders won’t go for this anyway. Whew. Without Alitalia around, I wouldn’t know who to pick on. Other bad airlines (like Mexicana) actually go away, but Alitalia, like a diamond, is forever. Then again, if Alitalia keeps up its recent performance, I may have to go fishing for another candidate here. Aerolineas Argentinas, you busy these days? It might be time to pay a visit.