Alitalia’s employees are ready to strike if they do not receive reassuring answers about its future by Oct. 31, the deadline for the stalled sale process for the bankrupt airline. 

The Italian flag carrier, which had come under increasing pressure especially from growing LCCs, declared bankruptcy in May 2017, kicking off a long-drawn-out sale process that is still unresolved. 

Administrators had drawn up a short list of interested bidders, but political uncertainty put the brakes on the process and ministers in Italy’s new government, who have promised imminent announcements on Alitalia’s fate, are now favoring keeping the carrier at least partly in Italian hands rather than selling it to another airline for restructuring. 

ANPAC pilots’ union executive secretary Stefano de Carlo told ATW’s sister publication Aviation Daily that with Alitalia’s sale mandate expiring in less than a month, there were still no concrete solutions on the table: “This, for us, is unacceptable and we have sounded the alarm to governing bodies to call for concrete solutions that should replace the promises made up until now,” he said. 

“Flight attendants and pilots won’t wait passively for time to pass and as Oct. 31 approaches, in the absence of concrete solutions, they will mobilize,” he added. 

De Carlo also said at an Oct. 2 press conference in Rome to mark the launch of the Federazione Nazionale di Trasporto Aereo (FNTA), a new organization bringing together pilot and cabin crew unions: “We have a lot of doubts that Alitalia could survive another winter. In these conditions, if there is not a reassuring response by Oct. 31, we will move to a phase of mobilization of the workforce.”

Helen Massy-Beresford,