easyJet CEO Johan Ludgren said that the airline determined a purchase of Alitalia simply made no business sense. At the same time he also ruled out easyJet going to a Group structure as RyanAir have recently done.
He also ruled out easyJet going into long-haul travel any time soon.
easyJet was part of a three company strategy involving Delta Airlines and Italian Railways to buy Alitalia.
With easyJet departing the scene and Delta prevaricating, added to yet more industrial action by Alitalia staff, the scene is set for a bad ending.
Almost unbelievably the Alitalia strike is in protest over the airline not being sold off quickly enough and giving everyone job security.
If Delta formerly withdraw the airlines days are numbered, and it could well set up a political clash inside Italy’s bizarre coalition government and with the E.U.
Under EU rules Alitalia can only be loaned money on a short term favourable basis by government. And that’s been happening for two years. It can’t pay back what it’s borrowed without a buyout.
The money it’s received has been loaned by the Italian Post Office.
Italy’s nationalist government isn’t going to want to let its flag carrier go under, or see jobs lost.
At the same time it can’t keep bailing the airline out under E.U. competition rules.
That leaves little or no margin for anyone else to enter the fray. There are though airlines waiting for it to go under to pounce on its valuable slots around the world and in Italy, and sweep up some of its aircraft.