Etihad, Alitalia Deal to be Finalized Tomorrow?

T he agreement for Etihad Airways to purchase a stake of 49 percent in Alitalia is expected to be finalized on Friday, August 8, 2014 after a reportedly positive meeting between James Hogan — the chief executive officer of Etihad Airways — and officials of the government of Italy.

Etihad Airways is expected to invest a minimum of 500 million euros into the troubled carrier — which is currently in debt to the tune of approximately 800 million euros — with possible additional infusions of cash in the future.

Gabriele Del Torchio — the chief executive officer of Alitalia — was quoted in June as saying that he expected approximately 2,200 jobs to be eliminated as a result of the partnership with Etihad Airways.

Meanwhile, Poste Italiane — the national post office of Italy — is currently in talks to partner with Etihad Airways and could possibly invest 70 million euros in Alitalia. Possible synergies include ticket sales, holiday insurance policies and e-commerce.

What this means for you as a frequent flier is that Alitalia will continue to do business as usual — and there is a more promising future for the national airline of Italy, which has reported a profit only a few times in its history of 68 years. There have been concerns in recent years by frequent fliers pertaining to the viability of Alitalia, which is a partner airline in the SkyTeam alliance.

This is good news for me, as I am scheduled to be a passenger on some flights operated by Alitalia in the near future — and I have to say that Alitalia has treated me quite well as a passenger on flights it operated in the past.

I would think that this partnership could potentially open the door to some positive developments for frequent fliers — such as a partnership between the two frequent flier loyalty programs — but that remains to be seen.

What are your thoughts as to the pros and cons of this deal between Etihad Airways and Alitalia?

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!