Alitalia’s Potential Savior: Unions!

Can Alitalia’s employees help rebuild the bankrupt airline? The latest report out of Rome has a small employee group (possibly just a couple pilots) working to build a coalition to buy the carrier’s assets. The crew would represent somewhere between 10-20% of equity in the new operation should this materialize.

Motivation for the move, potentially funded by Union assets or impending severance payouts, is essentially to allow the employees to keep their jobs. The irony in that position is rich. Unions were presented with a restructuring offer at the beginning of the year. The pilots came to an agreement but the cabin crew rejected the cuts. That rejection led to the current state. Expecting things to get any better seems farfetched, though maybe not as crazy as Ryanair buying the Alitalia assets.

Read More: A Ryanair bid for Alitalia doesn’t make any sense

Key here, however, is that the Union bid appears to be driven by pilots, not cabin crew. The pilots figured out the necessary compromise last time and this time around presumably would do the same. Also, there is certainly precedent with employee groups buying in to an airline recovery from bankruptcy or when granting other concessions.

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Header image: An Alitalia 777 featuring the new livery, courtesy of the company

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Thanks for sharing this update now that this is dropping from press headlines. Regards, Alastair Majury

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