|by Sean O'Neill||Airlines||3|
Troubled Italian airline Alitalia is continuing to fly thanks to a nearly half-billion dollar investment by the government this spring—which European officials have challenged as unfair.
Flights this month should not be affected by backroom talks. To avoid strikes, the government has postponed any decisions until the end of the month, says Reuters.
This fall, the airline may be put under "special administration", which is similar to bankruptcy in the U.S., explains Reuters. Then, Alitalia might receive up to $1.5 billion from private investors, says the newspaper Il Giornale, without naming sources. Potential investors include Air One, a profitable Italian competitor that we've blogged about before, and Lufthansa, the profitable German carrier.
Here's hoping there's a way to save the national airline, making it stronger without harming budget travelers.
"Brand Italy" has a powerful pull worldwide. It's a shame that no one has yet figured out how to make the Italian national carrier be as sexy and appealing as the country's reputation.