Uncertainty over Alitalia’s routes from London Heathrow as it enters administration

Alitalia Airbus A320
Alitalia Airbus A320

As has been widely reported, today (Tuesday 2 May 2017) the shareholders of Alitalia (one of whom is Etihad) decided to put the airline into a formal administration process with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.

This follows a decision by members of Alitalia’s trade unions not to accept a restructuring proposal which would have involved, inter alia, cuts to jobs and staff salaries and a restructuring of its short-haul operations. Had the restructuring plan been approved the shareholders would have provided new finance to the airline.

Under the administration process, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development will appoint a Commissioner which will manage the airline whilst it is in administration.

The Italian Government has approved the provision of a bridge loan which will allow Alitalia to continue operations for the foreseeable future.

If a buyer for Alitalia is found then Alitalia could continue in some form. However, a question will remain over its London Heathrow slots.

When Etihad acquired a stake in Alitalia in 2014, it bought all of its London Heathrow slots. These were valued at €60m. These are currently leased to Alitalia which uses them to operate five flights from London Heathrow to Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino. (By comparison BA flies to Milan and Rome up to 10 and 6 times a day.) Whilst the precise terms are obviously commercially confidential it seems likely that these will revert back to Etihad at some point after Alitalia enters into administration.

Given that Scandinavian Airlines recently sold two London Heathrow slot pairs to American Airlines for $75million, Etihad could recoup some of its losses by selling them to other airlines or to expand its own network from London to Abu Dhabi. Either way, it is unlikely they will remain with Alitalia.

For further news on Alitalia’s situation we recommend checking Alitalia’s corporate website and the English language website of Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

London Heathrow & London City Flight Cancellations due to Alitalia Industrial Action on Wednesday 5 April 2017

Alitalia Airbus A320
Alitalia Airbus A320

A number of trade unions representing employees of Alitalia are due to take industrial action on Wednesday 5 April 2017.

As a consequence, a substantial number of flights have been cancelled on Wednesday. In addition, there are a number of cancellations on Tuesday 4 April 2017 and Thursday 6 April 2017.

The background to the dispute is that Alitalia is currently in negotiations with its shareholders and banks over the airline’s future. Management have proposed a new business plan which would involve substantial redundancies which trade unions are protesting against.

Alitalia has published guidance for affected passengers which includes details of its rebooking policies.  A full list of cancellations is also available here.

If your flight is cancelled you have the option of a refund or an alternative fight up to Friday 14 April 2017.

The cancellations include the following flights between London Heathrow and London City Airports and Milan and Rome.

Please note that these are pre-planned cancellations.  There may well be additional cancellations due to other operational issues on the day.

You can check live flight information on the websites of Heathrow and London City airports on the day of travel.

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Alitalia – London Heathrow & London City cancellations due to strike action

A number of trade unions representing employees of Alitalia are due to take industrial action on Thursday 23 February 2017.

As a consequence, approximately 60% of Alitalia’s domestic and international flights are cancelled on Thursday 23 February and there are further cancellations Friday 24 February.

These include the following flights between London Heathrow and London City Airports and Milan and Rome.

Please note that these are pre-planned cancellations.  There may well be additional cancellations due to severe weather in the U.K. caused by Storm Doris.  In addition, some airport ground facilities in Italy may also be affected by industrial action.
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