Random Bits of Info – What I Missed in the International World

Alitalia, Virgin Atlantic

Man, this has been a busy week. I know I spent half of it lounging around Peru, but long vacations always make it harder to catch up on work when you return. Combine that with the fact that I’ve got a new job at PriceGrabber (Director of Community), and I’m just struggling to make it to the weekend. So, let’s get to what I missed in the international world and I promise I’ll have some more extensive stuff ready for next week.

Nationwide Goes Down – It’s not just US airlines that are dropping like flies. Looks like Nationwide Airlines out of South Africa is the latest casualty. To be fair, these guys didn’t really have their stuff together in the first place. I mean, they were grounded last year when a friggin’ engine fell off one of their planes. When something like that happens, it’s not easy to recover. They didn’t.

Virgin Atlantic Thinks You’re Pretty Enough – At least half the time someone brings up Virgin Atlantic, it’s quickly followed by a mention of the inflight massage and manicure. Of course, that was only available in Upper Class, but now it’s not available anywhere. Virgin has decided to kick the beauticians off the plane. So, you’ll have to get a massage or manicure beforehand. I know, rough life.

Neeleman Has Only One Name Idea – You’ve started a successful low cost carrier named JetBlue, and now you’ve moved on to found a Brazilian airline. What should you call it? Well, the plan was to have a naming competition, but that ended with the name Samba, and apparently he didn’t like that. So he went with choice #2 – Azul. Yep, that means Blue in Portuguese. Geez, so creative.

06_09_10 alitaliaAlitalia Grabs Illegal Loan – Ah, my favorite subject. Italians are now 300m euros poorer since the government decided to loan Alitalia the money to keep the airline afloat. Of course, it’s already been challenged by the EU, and Italy has to somehow justify how this is legal. Good times.

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4 comments on “Random Bits of Info – What I Missed in the International World

  1. How far can 300m get Alitalia?

    And I doubt the EU will do anything – they haven’t had the teeth to go after other countries that have violated financial rules (example: Greece fudged their entire book keeping in order to join the EU in the first place and nothing was done afterwards…)

  2. 300m euros should be enough to ensure Alitalia keeps flying until Xmas 2008.

    As it seems that the Italian Govt has decided to go ahead and do what it wants (and never mind what the EU says), there’s not a lot the EU really can do. Italy is a big country in the EU, so there won’t be any great political desire to really stamp hard on the Italian Govt. The EU likes to do stuff by consensus – big battles between member states doesn’t really happen.

    While a case will end up going to some EU court, it would probably take a couple of years for anything to come to fruition – by which time it would be almost 2011 by which time the 10-year period has passed, and then Italy would be able to subsidise Alitalia legally !

  3. Yeah, I thought that whole “Samba got more votes but we preferred Azul” thing to be a little off. I mean don’t have a bloody contest if you don’t plan to follow the outcome!

  4. Another airline has gone bust !
    Euromanx – admittedly they’re not a big player, but they can now be added to the list

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