Air Italy risks bankruptcy

Air Italy

Air Italy, an Italian airline owned by Prince Aga Khan and Qatar Airways ended 2019 with a loss of around 200 million euros. Its liquidation is likely, according to the daily La Repubblica.

The Italian airline Air Italy risks bankruptcy after a loss of around 200 million euros in 2019, which would result in the dismissal of some 1,200 employees, several Tuesday newspapers in the peninsula reported.

Air Italy, formerly Meridiana, is 51% owned by Prince Aga Khan and 49% by Qatar Airways. « Air Italy (…) ended 2019 with around 200 million euros in losses and convened for today (Tuesday, note) a very delicate shareholders’ meeting, » writes the daily La Repubblica. « In the likely case, where the recapitalization would not take place, the shareholders’ meeting has as another hypothesis the liquidation of the company », continues the daily, recalling that Air Italy employs around 1200 persons.

For the economic daily Il Sole-24 Ore, « the worrying signals have been present for a long time, already from the accounts of 2018 which had ended with a loss of 164 million euros ». Air Italy, launched with great fanfare two years ago, had bet on « the difficulties of Alitalia », the main Italian air carrier, adds the newspaper, a calculation which turned out to be wrong.

« We want to become the number one brand in Italy and we have the means to do so, » Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in February 2018. « Now the two shareholders are at a crossroads: either they sign another check for several million euros with the quasi-mathematical certainty of burning capital again, or they launch, as seems likely, the liquidation of society ”, concludes La Repubblica.

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