Ryanair hopes to take the slots left by Alitalia at Roma Fiumicino and Milan Linate Airports. The news comes as the Italian airline undergoes an overhaul that will see its footprint shrink in the coming months. Ireland’s budget operator has said it will be interested in bidding on slots when they open. Let’s find out more.
As experienced by Alitalia nationalization and restructuring, the carrier is expected to release some of its lucrative slots at airports such as Rome and Milan. This opens up a rare opportunity for airlines at these limited-slot airports to start operating immediately. Ryanair is one of the airlines that is taking advantage of the opportunity to get more slots.
In a statement to RTÈ, Ryanair confirmed that his party was interested in the tender for the slot when they opened. While the details haven’t been finalized (Alitalia hasn’t even released any slots yet), Ryanair is discussing the opportunity following the European Commission’s statement. The carrier said,
“As part of an investigation into state aid to new company Alitalia, the European Commission advises the Italian government to put Alitalia assets into competitive tenders, including the Linate and Fiumicino slots…. Ryanair has expressed interest in participating in such a tender “
To reach such a deal, the budget carrier has sent a letter to the government saying it is interested in slots and other assets from Alitalia. The flag carrier already has a plan for potential exit Milan Malpensa Airport. However, the journey to secure the slot may not be easy.
As Ryanair tries to take advantage of new opportunities, Alitalia’s future remains unclear. Recently, the government is considering kill the Alitalia brand itself, after the EU did not provide state assistance for the carrier. Italy has allocated around € 3 billion ($ 3.64 billion) to restructure the airline and make it profitable.
This means liquidating Alitalia and all of its assets, including aircraft and slots, and selling them on a competitive basis. This will add to the complexity of the government’s previous plans to transfer airline assets new company which will change the name of the airline and restart operations. The European Union immediately rejected this plan.
The sale of assets will create a key slot for airlines like Ryanair and others looking to expand to compete for. However, a source who spoke to RTÈ said that handing over slots to foreign airlines could be politically controversial and unheard of in Alitalia’s history.
For now, the journey towards securing a new slot seems like a long one for Ryanair. In a year in which dozens of European airlines have received government bailout funds, Alitalia proved to be one of the most difficult.
What do you think about Ryanair trying to secure a slot in Italy? Should Alitalia sell her slot before restructuring? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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