Ryanair to submit binding bid for Alitalia: CEO

    Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary affirmed plans to submit a binding bid for Alitalia, adding the while the carrier “struggles to make money… it’s still a very good brand in Italy” (Bloomberg/Reuters/Milano Finanza, 31-Aug-2017). Mr O’Leary said Alitalia‘s brand would be retained, as would most of the carrier’s Rome based aircraft. He said: “The jets are all leased, so we would want those leases, but we would want the bankruptcy administrator to restructure them”. Mr O’Leary reportedly stated pilots and engineering employees are also planned to be retained. He however noted competition concerns around the combined market share of the two carriers, with Ryanair already being the largest airline in Italy. In the event of competition concerns affecting acquisition, Ryanair would pursue around 90 aircraft instead, according to Mr O’Leary. According to the CAPA Fleet Database, Ryanair operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft, while Alitalia operates a mix of A320 family aircraft, A330-200s and the Boeing 777-200ER.