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ITA Airways needs investments right away

Possible extension of negotiations with Certares to define details

The negotiation for the privatization of the flag carrier ITA Airways gets underway. Today the first meeting between the Italian managers and a large delegation of the consortium that presented the winning bid to take over 51% of the airline: the US investment fund Certares and the American Delta Air Lines. At the top of the agenda is the economic node, but the negotiation could extend beyond the deadline of 30 September.

"Shared interventions are essential and urgent, aimed at improving working conditions and wages. Risks of disaffection and exodus phenomena must be avoided" which would put the evolution of the company's industrial plan at "serious risk" in a phase of strong recovery of global air transport", write Filt Cgil, Uiltrasporti and Ugl Transport Aereo to the executive president, Alfredo Altavilla, and to the managing director, Fabio Lazzerini, thus asking "the start of a confrontation".

By 2023 the company will need 430 million to reinforce and manage the fleet. Without forgetting that the expensive fuel is already making the financial management of the company unsustainable: in the worst scenario (prices + 20% and revenues -10% due to covid-19) another 120 million would be needed in December 2022. For its part, the fund Certares has proposed new hires, more planes (80 in 2023 and 120 in 2024), more long-haul routes, centrality of Fiumicino airport.

During today's meeting it is likely that the managers of the winning consortium will ask to investigate some issues that emerged from the monitoring of sensitive documents contained in the data room. At that point, however, September 30 will expire, but the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Mef) will be able to extend it for a few weeks. Time to work out the details.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency