During today`s meeting, the Alitalia Board of Directors deplored the unauthorised release of confidential documents prior to discussion and approval by the company`s internal bodies. Such unauthorised release recently caused Alitalia to request the temporary suspension of its shares, in the wake of unconfirmed news items which had appeared in the press. In the light of this, the Board gave the CEO Francesco Mengozzi a mandate to instruct the company`s lawyers to report what had happened to the legal authorities.
During the meeting, the Board took note of the Business Plan 2002-2006, following a presentation of the main points by the CEO.
In its examination of the Business Plan, the Board also took note of the deterioration in the grave crisis which has hit the air transport industry worldwide, following the tragic events on September 11. This situation makes it vital not only to reinforce the anti-crisis measures approved in the Contingency Plan but also to accelerate their application. It also becomes essential to revise the forecasts for growth in company activities during the first 12-24 months of the Business Plan, by including in it the new factors set out in the Contingency Plan.
The Board therefore gave the CEO a mandate to prepare a new forecast for the first two years of the Business Plan 2002-2006. Consequently, all decisions relating to fleet policy and the scale of re-capitalisation are postponed for the time being.
Against this background, the Board approved the guidelines of the Plan, entrusting their application to the CEO.
These guidelines, in keeping with the main points of the Contingency Plan, include:
* a policy which focuses on Alitalia`s core business;
* a continuing search for new partnerships, as well as the transfer of non-core sectors;
* a programme of cost reduction and increased efficiency;
* redesigning the network to focus on selected traffic areas, confirming the elimination of feeder routes which are not self-sufficient in terms of revenue and also inadequate in terms of their contribution to the network system. This cutback will be counterbalanced by reinforcing services to the main destinations.
* the use of Fiumicino and Malpensa airports will be based on the ability of the company to fully exploit their intrinsic features within the economic framework in which these two main hubs are situated.
In addition, the Board instructed the CEO to appeal against the decision by the European Commission on July 18 which confirmed that Alitalia`s re-capitalisation should be considered as State aid. This opinion, previously expressed by the Commission on July 15, 1997, had been overturned by the sentence handed down by the European Union`s Upper Court on December 12, 2000.