Alitalia could be grounded within days. Italy’s aviation authority, ENAC, has said it will take away its operating licence unless the airline’s bankruptcy commissioner Augusto Fantozzi can come up with a convincing new offer to buy it or a cost-cutting plan.
Fantozzi is making a last-ditch attempt to sell the airline. The head of ENAC, Vito Riggio, said: “Alitalia has exactly three days to come up with a convincing plan to keep the license. If not we have to suspend its license because that’s what the rules say.”
Alitalia has been on the brink of collapse for years as political interference and strikes bled it of cash. It has just 30 to 50 million euros left, is losing 2.1 million euros a day and is struggling under 1.2 billion euros of debt.
Alitalia’s pilots and cabin crew recently rejected a rescue bid from an Italian business consortium because it included job cuts and slimmed-down contracts. Unless something dramatic happens, Alitalia could cease operations by the end of the week. The government has ruled out further state aid or, as some on the left propose, the re-nationalisation of Alitalia.