Alitalia’s future still up in the air

It’s been over a year since Alitalia’s bankruptcy and nothing’s been done to sell off the airline. Italy is in a precarious political situation with a right wing left wing coalition that looks as if it’s unlikely to survive 12 months.

With Lufthansa, easyJet, Cerberus Capital and Wizz Air all after all or parts of Alitalia, on August 3rd the new Transport Minister Danilo Tonenelli, decided none of the tabled offers were suitable.

The bizarre politics of a left-right coalition has set a series of very different priorities but both agree that 51% of the Airline remains government owned – but not government run.

Quite how this will resolve itself for the airline, which is carrying on as though nothing has happened, leaves them in a vacuum. In fact it’s business figures are markedly improved and it’s going through what industrial psychology has suggested is “Chapter 11 syndrome”.

This is where employers and employees suddenly subconsciously respond to a challenged situation, that may make or break them. They tend to pull together and work better. Sadly the syndrome dissipates quickly once companies come out of Chapter 11 and relax without the goal to escape it.

So, for those interested in buying the airline – they have as much of an idea as to what happens next as you or I do. Italy is now on vacation for a month – nothing new is likely to emerge before October.