Sunday, March 19, 2017

Alitalia to cut $1bn in costs; mass layoffs likely

Italian flagship carrier Alitalia has vowed to cut costs by €1 billion ($1.07 billion) over the next three years in a bid to return to profitability by 2019, as Italy’s flagship airline embarks on yet another high-stakes restructuring plan, said a report.

The plan is expected to result in layoffs, though the precise figure is unclear. Alitalia had been hurt by its high cost base as well as growing competition from low-cost carriers which have made big in-roads into the Italian market in recent years, reported Financial Times.

Alitalia said it would submit the plan to the Italian government on Thursday, and the restructuring would be subject to an agreement with trade unions on a new collective works agreement.
After a marathon meeting, the board named Luigi Gubitosi, the former chief executive of Rai, the state-owned television network, as a director, replacing Roberto Colaninno, it added.

“The aviation industry is ferociously competitive and never stands still,” said Cramer Ball, Alitalia’s chief executive. “Only through radical change will Alitalia’s fortunes be turned around,” he added.

After reaching a landmark deal with Etihad, the UAE-based carrier, in 2014, the Italian airliner had aimed to break even by this year. But that effort failed dramatically, forcing Alitalia to go back to the drawing board, it added.



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