Air Italy’s financial crisis has been going on since November 2019, when the company’s balance sheets showed a negative equity situation, amounting to a negative amount of almost €1 million. At that time, just before the global pandemic started, the company decide not to reconstitute its capital, as required by the Italian Civil Code (article 2447 c.c.) and, being below the legal minimum capital allowed, it was decided to proceed to liquidation.
Subsequently, a collective dismissal procedure was initiated for all permanent employees, at all levels, and, after a five-month suspension period – imposed by Italian legislative measures in view of the epidemiological emergency – a trade union agreement was signed to grant employees a period of extraordinary wages.
At the end of the CIGS (Cassa Integrazione Guadagni Straordinaria – Extraordinary Wages Guarantee Fund), scheduled for 30th June 2021, the redundancy looks imminent.
The fate of the airline is now in the hands of the Ministry of Labour, the only hope for the 1363 employees, after failing to find an agreement during the negotiation phase. Air Italy also explained that “there are no legal prerequisites to access a further period of furlough, in light of the current regulatory provisions“, although this option would only allow to postpone the inevitable. Now, the only hope for the workers is that, since the situation has been escalated to the ministerial level, the furlough will be extraordinarily extended until the end of the year.
Air Italy’s history has been full of take-offs and crash landings: from the heroic deeds of the Aga Khan with Alisarda, to the long administration of Meridiana, to the management of Qatar Airways from 2016.
The destiny of Air Italy is still unwritten, but it seems that, after 54 years of activities under different managements, the end might be coming for the Sardinian airline due to the effects of this unimaginable pandemic.