So Alitalia has lost yet another chairman and its would-be saviour, Air France-KLM, has walked away in exasperation. I’ve got to say this has been an exasperating story to cover as a journalist, so I can only imagine the frustration that must have been felt in that negotiating room last night.
The Financial Times quotes outgoing chairman Maurizio Prato as saying to a union official: “This airline is cursed. Only an exorcist can save it.” Maybe he’s right – with no other bids on the table, bankruptcy is seeming like a very real option.
As sad and painful as job cuts are, by refusing to accept a business plan that would have involved 2,100 job losses Alitalia’s unions may have made a decision that will leave the entire workforce without an airline to work for at all.
Or maybe I’m wrong. With the way this story keeps rumbling on and on, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Air One or someone completely unexpected came out of the woodwork to try and breathe some life into the dying carrier. Who knows? I’m certainly not making any firm bets.