Need I say Moores

Italy’s Groundhog Day

On May 2, Alitalia’s board unanimously voted to place the airline into administration, triggering that feeling of déjà vu...again.

I’ve been an aviation journalist for nearly 15 years. Over that time I’ve lost count of how many times the Alitalia death knell has been rung.

Like the 1993 Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day, we keep repeating the same day again and again. Alitalia is caught in an endless loop.

Italian shareholders and Etihad Airways were willing to plough another €2 billion ($1.1 billion) into the airline, based on a cost cutting plan where only one third of the cuts were labor-related.

But just as the media have been through the cycle several times, so have Alitalia’s employees. The plan was rejected, forcing the company into administration. Again.

“After indulging in hedonism and committing suicide numerous times, he [Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman] begins to re-examine his life and priorities,” says the Wikipedia entry for the film.

The parallel with Alitalia is strong. The question is will Alitalia be given another chance to re-examine its existence? The most likely answer is yes, but the outlook for the foreseeable future is far from fair.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com

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