Air France-KLM presents new Alitalia proposal

 

 


Air France-KLM has given Italian unions new proposals for its takeover of ailing airline Alitalia that envisage some 2,100 layoffs and 37 passenger flights grounded, officials said on Friday.

 

Unions said they would examine the nine-page document presented overnight at meetings on Friday but early reaction was negative as the number of layoffs in the plan remained similar to previous proposals.

 

“We do not intend to compromise on the layoffs, which are too many, on the airplanes, which they are grounding too many of,” said Marco Veneziani, national secretary of the transport branch of UIL.

 

“It is a bad document,” Veneziani said. “This proposal remains unacceptable.”

 

The news led the Milan stock exchange to delay Friday trading in Alitalia shares.

 

Under the plan Air France would renew Alitalia’s aging fleet but stop Alitalia’s cargo service by 2010, unions said.

 

Air France-KLM President Jean-Cyril Spinetta promised in the document to accompany the layoffs with “social measures,” including early retirement or transfers to other duties or places, the ANSA news agency said. He said the group has decided that no employee would be abandoned.

 

“We cannot go any further without calling into question the very foundation of our plan for Alitalia,” ANSA quoted Spinetta as saying in the document.

 

Veneziani, the union leader, said the document made good on a promise to take in 180 Alitalia pilots over the next three years, but said the conditions set for taking them in were too harsh and did not give enough guarantees. The plan envisages 507 layoffs for pilots.

 

“There are no substantial changes,” said Fabio Berti, president of the ANPAC pilots union. “It’s a closed chapter.”

 

Berti also announced his group would not attend the union meeting scheduled to begin at 1030 GMT in Rome.

 

The Italian government put its 49.9 per cent stake in the loss-making airline up for sale and chose Air France-KLM, the world’s largest airline by revenue, as its preferred bidder.

 

Air France-KLM is currently in exclusive talks to take over the airline, which is losing nearly $1.6 million (Dh5.87 million) a day. The deadline of Air France-KLM’s offer is next Monday and Alitalia is expected to discuss whether to extend it at a board meeting later Friday. (AP)

 
 
 
Comments

Comments