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easyJet’s Shares Slump, Alitalia’s Shares Suspended

Shares in UK low-cost airline easyJet today lost more than one quarter of
their value as the company gave notice that increasing competitive
pressures could weaken its performance in the second six months of the
year - traditionally its most profitable period. The slump in easyJet’s
share price follows hard on the heels of the suspension yesterday of
shares in Alitalia, Italy’s largest airline. The board of Alitalia, which
is due to meet tomorrow (Thursday), is said to be considering three
options; requesting a capital increase; appointing extraordinary
administrators; or liquidation.Nigel Atkinson, corporate turnaround and restructuring partner at Begbies
Traynor, is an expert on the airline industry.  He has previously been
involved with the restructuring of Alitalia, and has also worked with
other airlines including Iberia, Olympic Airways and British Island
Airways, to name but a few. If you would like comments on Alitalia,
easyJet or the general health of airlines, Nigel Atkinson is available
immediately to speak to journalists.

Atkinson believes that this is a tough time for the European airline
industry. He says that the airlines are competing strongly on price in
order to win business or maintain market share, but often to the detriment
of their margins and profitability. Atkinson believes that this highly
competitive environment cannot be sustained indefinitely without the
restructuring or possibly closure of some airlines. Particularly at risk
are smaller airlines including low cost, regional and some of the national
flag carriers.