Lufthansa is not in a hurry on Alitalia. A little because the internal problems force her to proceed with caution. A little because on the upper floors of the German group they are convinced that even if the Italian-American consortium (Ferrovie dello Stato, Atlantia, Delta Air Lines) should go to port after a couple of years of newco the situation would return to that of today: problematic. And so the Italians would have to knock on Lufthansa's door that could impose his conditions. And even reduce the claims – summarize three sources to Courier service – because so many of the redundancies have already been made by others.
"Quality is more important than speed," he said Courier service Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa, in a telephone conversation with journalists almost all in German. Spohr, the sources point out, has never personally committed himself to the Italian dossier in recent weeks. And even though in the letter sent to Ferrovie (head of the consortium) and to the Ministry of Economic Development from Frankfurt they wrote that they wanted to invest more money than those promised by Delta (100 million euros), the proposal remained at a theoretical level. Even knowing that the equity in the newco is the basic condition for sitting at the table with Fs and Atlantia.
"Waste of time"
"Lufthansa is wasting time – said one of the sources – because it knows very well that the more months pass, the more Alitalia's value falls". No coincidence that the operational meetings continue between Italians and Germans continue. Even after 7 November, the date on which Spohr should have given a more concrete signal about Alitalia. That signal never arrived. There was however the repetition of the German mantra from October 2017: the request for a restructured Alitalia. Also in these days from Frankfurt they reiterated that for them at least 5,000 redundancies are needed (to these must be added those hired with more precarious types of contracts), that the fleet must be drastically reduced to 75-80 aircraft (from the current 117) and an agreement is needed union agreement already signed.
There is only one detail: that all this Lufthansa wants to do before it joins the new Alitalia shareholder, the sources confirm. A request that – to what the Courier service – would have irritated both Ferrovie and Atlantia working on the 2,500-2,800 redundancies. For this reason the Italian side would have given time until Tuesday for a Lufthansa communication with more details: if this letter will ever be sent it will have to contain the formal commitment to pay money into the newco, otherwise we will proceed with Delta Air Lines. Those who follow the dossier fear that the goal of the German group could also be to blow up everything in order to find themselves, in September 2020, with an Alitalia without a euro in the cashier and therefore forced to put the planes on the ground. Situation that Lufthansa already knows having taken over the Swiss Swiss in this way.
The German problems
At Lufthansa (which also includes Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Air Dolomiti) things do not go as planned. 2020 is expected to be more complicated and for this reason the steps to reduce operating costs have already begun due to the bill for kerosene. The competition with low-cost flights on 60% of routes from Vienna will force Austrian to send 700-800 employees home while preparing to close the year at a loss. Eurowings – the low cost division – continues to fly in the red and could revise profits not before 2021. To reduce expenses, then, even the parent company, Lufthansa, will no longer buy 14 Boeing 777X (6.2 billion dollars per list price, net of discounts). Not only. In long-haul flights from November 28 will cut food on board in the Economy and Premium Economy classes: a couple of hours before landing will no longer be served a second meal, but a vegetarian snack (plus a bottle of water). Winter in air transport in Europe could last at least a year.