OFFICIAL: Air Italy Collapses & Suspends All Operations

UPDATE:

Air Italy suspends operations: https://www.airitaly.com/en/

Qatar Airways has also released a statement blaming shareholders for not being fully committed.

https://www.qatarairways.com/en/press-releases/2020/February/QatarAirwaysStatementOnAirItaly.html?activeTag=Press-releases

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.

Background:

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.

image

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.



Sources

https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/air-italy-bilico-all-assemblea-l-ipotesi-liquidazione-ACb6iZIB
Images by Air Italy

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?

  • Alitalia
  • American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United because of that argument with Qatar Airways.
  • @BigBert10 because SFO will lose another airline.
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Lol @BigBert10, I agree I love Air Italy’s livery really beautiful… so is Eurowings

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That’s not good, also considering how Alitalia is doing. Hope they stay afloat.

Oof, would hate to see San Francisco lose another airline because they went bankrupt or were about to…

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I would love to see SFO losing another airline XD

But this is good XD

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It’s all over

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I’m concerned about how the Italian air market is having a turbulent moment now. Alitalia received a loan from the government (again) but that won’t do any substantial change and no one wants to buy them. Now, Air Italy is going through a dangerous situation.

I had hopes that Air Italy would be the next flag-carrier since Alitalia seems to be a lost case, and because the airline is supported by Qatar Airways. At this rate, the only scheduled passenger airlines Italy would have are Air Dolomiti, Blue Panorama and Neos.

Not sure if other stuff like the raise of the LCCs dominance in the country and Italy’s economy are also playing a role, but this is concerning.

More info:

Think also about the other airlines that currently operate in Italy’s main airports, they can acquire the slots to further expand in the Italian market. I doubt that Alitalia would benefit from this, as they’re also struggling to stay afloat.

You’re not realizing the impact this would have for travel economy? Think about the staff that could be losing their jobs, etc. and its effects in the Italian economy. This is not something to joke about, just because you don’t like an airport, it’s utterly ridiculous. Still, I don’t see how SFO losing an airline benefits SJC…

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Not lookin’ good

Air Italy members suspend all decisions and are open to discussions with the government:

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Air Italy officially suspends all operations

https://www.airitaly.com/en/

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Well, this is tragic. This also means the 737 MAX looses another customer. Again, very concerning.

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RIP Air Italy :(

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Not good at all, another airline collapsed.

F

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Always disheartening seeing an airline cease ops, with the people paying the ultimate price being the employees and their dependents. All the best to the employees in their future endeavours.

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How long has this airline been around? That’s one short lived airline.

They’ve changed names a whole bunch and merged, so technically since the ‘60s. They were Meridiana before Air Italy and they came to be in the ‘90s. Air Italy as a name hasn’t been around awhile, only since March 2018

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Qatar Airways has also released a statement blaming shareholders for not being fully committed.

https://www.qatarairways.com/en/press-releases/2020/February/QatarAirwaysStatementOnAirItaly.html?activeTag=Press-releases

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I’m putting this one on Qatar, they are good at running their own airline but not others. Hopefully they don’t run RwandAir into the ground with their poor decisions as well.

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Wow, the first airline to collapse in 2020! Air Italy had one of the nicest liveries imo. Too bad we won’t be able to see that livery anymore.

Rwandair should be fine considering that they’re openly subsidised by the Rwandese govt.


In a way, whatever is happening to Italy’s airlines should ring alarm bells. First Alitalia(which has been in the ICU for virtually forever) then this, I think there’s more than meets the eye here.