A Little Alitalia To Keep Things Light

Alitalia, Worst Airline Ever

Oh yes, it’s that time once again. Let’s check in on our good friends at Alitalia and see how messed up things are. Man, these guys are fun to pick on.

alitaliaOver the last couple of months, the three potential investors (aka saviors) in the airline had a chance to dig in deeper and see what’s really going on. What did they find? Well, two of the bidders dropped out.

First, TPG, the US private equity firm that was involved in saving Continental and America West back in the day, walked away. It’s partner, Matlin Patterson, opted to come back in and take a shot at it without them. Then Aeroflot walked away saying that they weren’t allowed access to enough information for them to truly evaluate the opportunity. No surprise there. So really, the only original bidder left is another Italian airline, Air One. Bids are due July 12.

Of course, when bidders drop out, that opens the door for other bidders to step in. And that’s exactly what the rumors were saying a few days ago. The specific rumors were that Air France was finally going to step in and bid, but Air France says no way. You can never believe a PR team when they say that, but in this case, I would hope they aren’t that crazy. Alitalia is a lost cause (as any airline in Italy probably would be).

Meanwhile, the airline continues to excel in pissing people off. Here’s an amusing story (to read, not to experience) about a recent trip flying from Italy to Spain. Yup, sounds like Alitalia. At least they weren’t on strike.

And if you’ve ever earned miles in the airline’s MilleMiglia program, they’re about to be toast. View From the Wing reports that at the end of this year, the airline will shut down the program. Miles will only transfer if you fly them again, otherwise they disappear. Lame.

Things aren’t too rosy over on this side of the Pond for the airline either. Check out this lawsuit from the former Managing Director of Alitalia’s North American operation. He says he was told not to hire anyone who was gay, black, or over 30. Not hiring gay people at an airline?!? You’ve got to be kidding me.

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4 comments on “A Little Alitalia To Keep Things Light

  1. Too funny. Generally European and Asian flag carriers offer service that is superlative to anything available on U.S. airlines’ international services (with exceptions, obviously).

    Then again, the Italians never were great bureaucrats, which is more or less required if you want to run a successful airline.

  2. Quote: “Alitalia is a lost cause (as any airline in Italy probably would be)”

    I appreciate your comments in general and it is a pleasure to read this blog.
    Too bad that your overgeneralization about Italian airlines is quite offensive if not inaccurate and gratuitous.
    Please do check airlines such as AirOne, AlpiEagles, Air Dolomiti and on the charter side Lauda Italia and Livingston before posting derisive opinions which not only relate to the aviation world but as to the ability to manage and run a business.

  3. It’s possible that Alitalia is doing good old European protectionism by not fully disclosing its finances. Foreign buyers are at a disadvantage.

    Aeroflot is weird though. It’s appearing on potential buyers’ list with increasing frequency.

  4. Just flew Alitalia for the first (and last) time. They lost my luggage and cancelled two flights on me. No compensation whatsoever yet. The staff were, in general, astoundingly lazy and rude, with some outstanding examples of dishonesty to add spice. This airline deserves to fail, and I will laugh myself silly when I see the tearful TV interviews with ex-staff asking “why us?”. Italians should be outraged that their country is represented by this meretricious company and its pathetic employees.

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