Alitalia to sell assets, cut jobs before tie up

Alitalia SpA CEO Giancarlo Cimoli is working on a plan to sell assets and cut a further 1,300 jobs ahead of a link-up with Air France-KLM, Corriere della Sera newspaper reported, without citing its sources. Air France-KLM CEO Jean-Cyril Spinetta aksi reiterated that his company is not ready to link-up with Alitalia until the loss-making Italian airline’s financial restructuring is completed.

The newspaper said that Cimoli’s latest plans continue to include the sale of ground operations, though he is dropping the sale of maintenance activities due to trade union opposition.

Other aspects include a redesign of its network, including more activities from its Fiumicino airport at Rome, while Malpensa in Milan would be a centre for Alitalia low-cost operations, it said.

The plan includes 1,000 job cuts among flight staff and 300 from ground operations, it said, adding the government will be asked to contribute subsidies to these redundancies.

In an alliance, Alitalia and Air France-KLM would be owned by a joint holding company, in which the Italian state’s stake would be 30 pct, against the 49 it currently holds in Alitalia, it said.

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A separate report in Friday’s L’Espresso weekly said the government is considering splitting Alitalia into two with a business carrier based in Milan, and a tourist airline in Rome.

Possible partners cited included Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, the Emirates airline, and Tod’s SpA chairman Diego Della Valle.
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