There is no love lost between Ireland’s low cost Ryanair and Italy’s carrier. Ryanair have tackled Alitalia a few times over their perception that Alitalia has recieved unfair state aid.
Now Ryanair have launched a new hub at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. They have stated they want to feed their routes into Alitalia’s international routes. Ryanair Deputy CEO Michael Cawley stated: “Ryanair believes that by offering to feed Alitalia’s international hub at Fiumicino and by searching for opportunities to work with and assist Alitalia in its turnaround, that we can help the new investors and the management of Alitalia to return that airline to profitability and viability,”
Like many announcements from Ryanair, it is hard to discern if they are being cheeky or serious!
Either way, Alitalia are not playing: Alitalia thanks Ryanair for its proposal for a collaboration…but remember that (Alitalia) has its own strategy, business plan, fleet and crews”
Alitalia lacks credibility though. Their 300 million Euro (USD407 million) emergency cash raising was not fully subscribed raising only 173 million Euros. The cash raising was part of an Italian government strategy to rescue the carrier until a white knight rescuer flies in!
Ryanair has not offered to take part in the capital increase.
Alitalia’s 25 per cent principal shareholder Air France-KLM have distanced themselves from the rescue plan. They have not taking up any option in the cash raising. Air France has stated they have no confidence in Alitalia’s business plan. All of Alitalia’s potential rescuers (aeroflot, Etihad, Lufthansa) have been silent.
Ryanair seem keen for an international connection, having attempted to take control of Aer Lingus a few times. Alitalia may not be their vehicle but Ryanair may be positioned in the right place, if (or when) Alitalia finally collapses. Alitalia definitely should not hold their breath for Ryanair to be their white knight, though.