Alitalia may start canceling flights — can’t afford fuel

Alitalia has been going through a bit of a rough patch of late. Even before the fuel crisis this past summer, Italy’s national airline was already struggling with poor service, unhappy unions and terrible management. Now, with costs going through the roof the airline is in some serious financial trouble.

Through the course of the summer, Alitalia has been looking for ways out of it’s tangle. For a while, we thought that Air France and KLM, the French and Dutch Skyteam partners, were going to usurp their counterparts, until unions and politicians weighed in on the deal and the buyers decided to back out.

Since then, the Italian government has been arguing about a few different options including a government takeover, but none have really matured to the point of stability.

Which brings us to Monday morning, which, after months of squabbling and mismanagement, has led to the airline still without strong leadership, with angry unions and with not enough fuel to fill its airplanes. According to the BBC, unless the airline comes up with some some significant cash or a strategy today, they “cannot guarantee” flights into the week.

As of this morning the airline is still in talks to be taken over by a Italian consortium of companies (including Benetton?) and merge with AirOne with plans to cut over 3,000 jobs, but nothing has been finalized. Keep an eye on your Alitalia flight if you’ve got one booked in the next week. It could be a rough week.

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