Alitalia, Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down?

With the clock running out and negotiations well under way between Alitalia and the labor unions, it would appear that the airline’s Top Management has decided to pull the plug on Alitalia’s CEO, Cramer Ball in favor of “president-elect” Luigi Gubitosi.

On the day before Cinderella airline “Alitalia” turns into a pumpkin and all of its employees into unemployed mice for lack of prince Moola, the present ceo, Cramer Ball, an Australian manager, fifty years young, with more than 20-years of experience in the airline business (Ethiad, Gulf Air, Quantas, Ansett Australia) and famous for having salvaged and turned around two major regional airlines (Jet Airways and Air Seychelles), seems to have been replaced during current talks between Alitalia’s Top Management and the Unions by “president elect” Luigi Gubitosi, a fifty-five year-old Italian manager who has made a big name for himself in Italian public and private enterprise but who has no airline experience to his credit other than perhaps, as a frequent flyer.

Up until a few days ago, Cramer Ball was in the saddle. Today, it was the “president-elect” issuing statements to the press, And Kronos and other news agencies. Whatever happened to Cramer Ball is not known but already there is talk of bringing an end to the “technical” experience and a return to “politics”.

No doubt Italian Unions are more comfortable dealing a man like Gubitosi who may know nothing about running an airline but is politically well-connected enough to pave the way for government intervention. What Italians won’t do for solidarity!

What happens, of course, to the thousands of suckers left holding the bag in the form of tickets bought and paid for online for flights scheduled to depart from Italian airports in the coming months is of no apparent concern to anyone, least of all the Labor Unions!

Alitalia, pollice su o giù?


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