Alitalia Gets Reprieve as Pilots Back Takeover Deal

Unions support gov't-backed plan to dodge collapse
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 27, 2008 10:43 AM CDT
Italian Carabinieri paramilitary police officers look on as Alitalia workers shout slogans at a gathering in Fiumicino airport, Monday Sept. 22, 2008.    (AP Photo/Umberto Faraglia)
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(Newser) – Alitalia, the bankrupt Italian air carrier on the brink of collapse, got a reprieve today when its
pilots agreed to a government-backed takeover bid by a team of business executives, Bloomberg reports. Pilots’ unions joined ground staff in approving the plan, which calls for 3,000 job cuts and longer hours for the same pay. Flight attendants’ unions are still in talks with the CAI business group.

“The agreement with pilots allows us to look at coming days with great serenity,” said Italy’s transport minister. “Now we can let planes take off.” Airline officials had said the company would run out of cash within a month. CAI execs hope to merge Alitalia with rival Air One, leaving a single company controlling more than half Italy’s market and turning a profit in 2 years.