Olbia, January 18th 2018 – With reference to the recent declarations made by the Minister of Transport and the Region of Sardinia regarding the outcome of the tender on the Territorial Continuity of Sardinia, Air Italy wishes to make some clarifications.
As noted, the company launched a major change in 2018, which began with the presentation of the new brand and the new business strategy, centered on a network of connections with the main hub at Milan Malpensa airport.
From May to December 2018 five intercontinental connections to and from Milan were progressively inaugurated and in the course of 2018 eight new aircraft entered the fleet, three B737 Max and five A330-200.
In 2019, Air Italy continues on its path of development, consistently pursuing the objectives of the business plan presented in 2018. Furthermore, from March 31, a new domestic route will be launched between Milan Malpensa and Cagliari.
Regarding the update this week, concerning the call for tenders on Territorial Continuity in Sardinia, the Company has learned with regret the results that emerged from the publication of the economic offers, including the fact that the criteria adopted by the call for tenders has not taken into account the investments made in Sardinia by Air Italy, in relation to the people and infrastructure of the Olbia base. This point is extremely important because in the past the investment and resources already present in Sardinia were considered to have higher relevance in the overall evaluation of the offer. It is worth noting that among the criteria of the 2018/19 tender there were items direct and indirect related to the size of the airline (fleet and commercial agreements) and it is evident that the size of Alitalia and that of Air Italy are very different, to the damage of the latter.
We presented a commercially viable and consistent offer with low but sustainable levels of profitability. Air Italy is confident that the Sardinia Region is carefully scrutinizing the proceedings, and carrying out the necessary checks on the offers presented, taking into consideration the overall situation of Alitalia. The Italian Minister of Transport stated that “Air Italy took public money and aid”. Air Italy has never received any public funding, while Meridiana - until 2016 - has benefited from the social shock absorbers provided to the entire air transport sector in Italy, when facing crisis periods.
On the contrary, it is the airline that came out first in the tender ranking of the two routes between Olbia, Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino, in Extraordinary Administration, which benefits from a loan granted by the Italian State equal to 900 million euros, not counting the billions injected into the coffers of the so-called Italian flag carrier in the last ten years.
We want to reassure the institutions that Air Italy is examining the situation very carefully, which includes evaluating any initiative aimed at protecting the interests of the Company and of our people in Sardinia.
We trust that the Government and the Institutions understand and support our commitment so that Air Italy becomes an even more successful airline, able to employ new staff and to serve the Sardinian, Italian and global market.