Air Italy suspends operations: https://www.airitaly.com/en/
Qatar Airways has also released a statement blaming shareholders for not being fully committed.
Last night’s information:
Looks like this may be the first airline to collapse in 2020.
Air Italy’s fate could be decided within the next few hours.
For starters, Air Italy’s shareholder meeting has been urgently brought forward to Tuesday at the request of majority owner Aga Khan who holds a 51% stake in Air Italy.
Italian media is reporting that executives may liquidate the company at the meeting.
Air Italy was originally “Meridiana” until Qatar Airways invested a 49% stake and completely turned around the airline into Air Italy, which launched on March 1, 2018.
Air Italy currently operates a fleet of 5 ex-Qatar A330-200s and 5 or so 737s. They currently have 3 grounded 737 MAX 8s with 17 more on order.
Additionally, Qatar Airways was supposed to send them 30 Boeing 787-8s but due to Qatar’s 787-9s having delivery delays, the 787s for Air Italy were postponed.
Causes of this potential collapse:
For starters, Air Italy reported a loss of 164 million Euros for 2018.
Additionally, the Boeing 737 MAX groundings in March 2019 also halted expansion plans.
Air Italy, based in Milan Malpensa Airport, had very ambitious and VERY rapid expansion plans especially into the United States. Air Italy announced flights from Milan to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago within the same season.
However, San Francisco and Los Angeles were rapidly reduced to seasonal and Chicago never actually began.
The airline also cut its flights to Mumbai and Delhi last February.
Emerging signs of this potential collapse:
- Shareholder’s meeting was moved up a week.
- Air Italy has already cancelled numerous flights this week:
Additionally, per the Italian article (messed up translation sort of):
[No sign] of the business plan for the next two years, which was to be presented in recent weeks, for now there is no trace
Qatar Airways, which holds a 49% stake in Air Italy, cannot raise the stake above 49% or Air Italy may lose its license.
Side advertising, go follow my new Instagram for more mini articles on aviation news lol.
So… this sucks. Truthfully, I love Air Italy’s livery and was happy to see it for the first time last year at JFK. Unfortunately their rapid expansion plans caused them to go down.
Who would benefit from Air Italy’s collapse?
- American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United because of that argument with Qatar Airways.
- @BigBert10 because SFO will lose another airline.