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James Hogan

Etihad chief regrets Alitalia staff vote to reject plan

ABU DHABI, April 25, 2017

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which owns a 49 per cent stake in Italy's Alitalia, has regretted the decision by Alitalia staff to reject a restructuring plan prosposed by the management.

James Hogan, president and chief executive of the Etihad Aviation Group, and vice chairman of Alitalia, said:  “We deeply regret the Alitalia staff vote outcome, which means that all parties will lose:  Alitalia’s employees, its customers and its shareholders, and ultimately also Italy, for which Alitalia is an ambassador all over the world."  

The restructuring plan aimed to cut jobs and salaries to resuce the loss-making airline.

“Alitalia’s shareholders, including Etihad Airways, have provided vast amounts of financial and commercial support during the past three years. Jointly with the Italian shareholders, Etihad had reaffirmed its strong commitment and principal willingness to support the airline with a package worth nearly €2 billion in aggregate to help fund Alitalia’s new five-year business plan. A key condition to this commitment was that an agreed and concerted effort would be made by all interested parties, including the unions.

“The preliminary agreement with unions that was made possible and supported by the union leaders, Alitalia management, the Italian Prime Minister and three government ministers would have helped secure Alitalia’s future. The rejection of this agreement in the staff ballot is deeply disappointing.   

“As a minority shareholder in Alitalia we support the board’s decision today to convene a shareholder’s meeting on April 27, to start preparing the procedures provided by the law," the statement said.

The plan involved cutting 1,700 jobs among ground staff and trimming salaries among flight personnel by 8 percent in order to unlock additional financing and keep Alitalia in the air. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Etihad | Alitalia | Hogan |

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