Venerdì, 19 Aprile 2019
Dimensione testo

Windjet employees asked to sign temporary lay-off agreements


(ANSA) - Catania, August 16 - Italian airline Windjet asked
its employees to sign temporary lay-off agreements on Thursday,
two days after Italian flagship carrier Alitalia turned down
overtures from its smaller rival calling for a merger to save
the faltering business.
The workers plan to discuss future action on August 25 at
Catania airport in Sicily, where the carrier operates from,
according to Cisl trade union representative Rosaria Rotolo.
The airline's employees have been carrying out wildcat
protests in the airport in recent weeks.
Alitalia on Tuesday ended talks that started some months ago
after Windjet chief Stefano Rantuccio requested more favourable
conditions for the company.
Rantuccio accused Alitalia of trying to buy the smaller
carrier on the cheap, as Alitalia said that buying the Sicilian
carrier would expose it to unbearable financial risks.
Italian newspapers have reported Windjet carried debt of
about 140 million euros, and that it employs as many as 800
people directly.
All Windjet flights have been cancelled, and passengers with
tickets through August rerouted on other flights at additional
Alitalia transported 800 Windjet passengers on some 16
specially organized flights on August 15 and August 16, bringing
the overall total of people it has taken to their final
destinations to 6,500 people, according to a statement released
by the carrier.
Marco Veneziani, who heads Uil Trasporti, which many Windjet
employees adhere to, pointed fingers at low-cost rivals such as
Ryanair as having damaging effects on Windjet.
The Irish carrier receives fiscal and subsidy benefits for a
total of 400 million euros from the Italian government, whilst
operating at costs that are 15% below that of Windjet.
The official called on the government to introduce measures
that would force Ryanair to have similar costs to those of
Italian carriers.

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