Alitalia unions went on strike March 25 as part of a wider walkout of Italian air transport sector workers, and as the long-running process aimed at saving the bankrupt carrier looked to be advancing with news that a new industrial plan should be presented by April 21. 

Gianfranco Battisti, CEO of railway company and potential Alitalia investor Ferrovie dello Stato, said a new industrial plan for the carrier would be presented before Easter, according to local media reports. The previous target date for the plan was March 31. Battista spoke on the sidelines of an Italian transport summit in Rome March 20.  

Alitalia declared bankruptcy in May 2017, but the process of finding investors to turn it around has been fraught with complications, with political uncertainty delaying progress for several months, several potential investors—most recently easyJet—withdrawing from negotiations, and the Italian coalition government seeking to keep at least part of the airline in Italian hands.

Ferrovie dello Stato is ready to invest in Alitalia, and US carrier Delta Air Lines has said it is considering how it can work with the rail company on a rescue plan. 

Alitalia workers have expressed concerns about the lack of clarity so far on how Alitalia, which struggled with tough competition from LCCs before it declared bankruptcy, can be turned around.

The airline said it canceled nearly 100 flights and made schedule adjustments March 25 as workers went on strike from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time, part of a wider strike in the air transport sector.  

Helen Massy-Beresford, helen.massy-beresford@aviationweek.co.uk