Former Avianca Owner Wants To Buy Alitalia

German Efromovich, the former Avianca owner, is interested in buying the troubled Alitalia. While there’s still a long…

Former Avianca Owner Wants To Buy Alitalia

German Efromovich, the former Avianca owner, is interested in buying the troubled Alitalia. While there’s still a long way to go, Efromovich has been interested in Alitalia for a while now. What does this mean for the bankrupt Italian airline? Let’s investigate further. 

Former Avianca owner, German Efromovich is interested in Alitalia. Photo: Getty Images

Who is German Efromovich?

Efromovich is a Colombian-Bolivian businessman born in 1950. He is the owner of Synergy Group, an industrial conglomerate that had the majority stake in Avianca until last year. 

In 2004, Efromovich bought Avianca, and Synergy Group acquired 75% of the South American carrier group. A year prior, , as it entered into a reorganization phase after the 9/11 air industry crisis. 

With the new administration, Avianca thrived. It positioned itself as the second most important airline in South America, right behind LATAM Airlines Group. 

During this time, Avianca extended its operations in several Latin American countries with branches in Colombia, El Salvador, Peru, Argentina, and Brazil. At some point, there was a discussion of launching Avianca Mexico, in collaboration with Mexican airline . It never happened, and the current Avianca administration no longer plans an investment like that. 

Nevertheless, in 2018, Efromovich lost control of Avianca Holdings. It happened after . Last year, United forced a takeover of the airline, and Efromovich was sacked of its airline. 

Avianca
Efromovich owned Avianca until last year. Photo: Daniel Martínez Garbuno/Simple Flying.

Why Efromovich likes Alitalia?

In 2019, when Efromovich was still in Avianca, the businessman said he was interested in acquiring 30% of Alitalia. He said,

“Alitalia is a great company. I can’t understand how it can lose money. I can put it back together in six months. Fourteen years ago, I bought Colombian carrier Avianca, when it had 34 airplanes and 4,300 employees. I’ve cured it, and now it has 189 airplanes and over 22,000 employees. The revenues went from US$350 million to US$4.5 billion.”

The businessman wants to build a new Alitalia under three pillars: aviation, maintenance, and ground services, according to 

We contacted Alitalia. At the moment of publication, we had no response. We’ll keep you updated if that changes.

We can understand the appeal of Alitalia. In theory, it has a significant market as Italy is one of the tourist hotspots in the world. The problem is that the airline can’t compete with low-cost carriers in Europe nor with long-haul operators in other continents. As a government-managed airline, it has a .  Additionally, it is bankrupt since 2017.

Alitalia
Alitalia is resuming some international operations in June. Photo: Thomas Boon/Simple Flying.

Where’s Alitalia at the moment?

As the pandemic ends in Italy, Alitalia is announcing the restart of its operations. From 2 June, the airline will operate its flights again to Spain and New York. Additionally, it expects to have a 36% increase in its number of flights compared with May, by relaunching 30 routes. 

A couple of weeks ago, the Italian Government was ready to . Previously, the airline furloughed 6,622 workers until October.

Additionally, Alitalia’s new management is analyzing its membership at the SkyTeam alliance. It is also reevaluating its route network with a strong focus on long-haul routes. But we could also see a smaller Alitalia, as the carrier could shrink its fleet from 92 aircraft to between 25 and 30 aircraft. 

While it could be tempting for the Italian Government to hear a proposal from German Efromovich, there is still a long way to go before a real deal occurs. But if it does, maybe it will mark a new era for Alitalia. 

Do you think a private investor could improve Alitalia’s operation? Let us know in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Throwback: 22 Years Ago Today Cathay Pacific Received Its First Boeing 777-300

On May 21st, 1998, Cathay Pacific received its first-ever Boeing 777 aircraft. This original arrival is still flying…

Throwback: 22 Years Ago Today Cathay Pacific Received Its First Boeing 777-300

On May 21st, 1998, Cathay Pacific received its first-ever Boeing 777 aircraft. This original arrival is still flying high with the Hong Kong-based carrier. Additionally, it is just one of 75 units of the plane type that the company has operated over the last 22 years.

It has been over two decades since Cathay received its first Boeing 777. Photo: Boeing

Close relationship

According to Cathay’s website, the operator was one of eight airlines to provide input for the model at its design stage. This move gave the firm the chance to customize the plane’s features to its taste.

One of the specifications was a cabin cross-section similar to the historic 747. Furthermore, Cathay wanted capacity for at least 325 passengers, a modern ‘glass’ cockpit, and lower operating costs. Subsequently, 777’s twin engines provided 33 percent savings in fuel when compared against early 747s. Moreover, there were also costs reduced when it came to maintenance.

The airline has gone on to form a strong partnership with the 777. It has performed flights with three different variants. The first version to hit the air was the 777-300, which was the world’s longest aircraft when it was introduced.

In 2007, the airline also started to operate the 777-300ER, with its debut flight being service to Seoul. It also performed flights with the original prototype 777-200, the B-HNL, before it was retired in 2018. Additionally, it fully ceased operations with its 777-200s last year.

Cathay Boeing 777-300 70th delivery
Every seat had on the first Cathay 777s had a personal TV, which was fresh and unique feature for the period. Photo: Boeing

Trusted aircraft

The pioneering 777-300, registered B-HNH, was handed over to Cathay at Boeing Field in Seattle. Two days later, it was flown home to Hong Kong with 39 passengers on board. Travelers included members of the press and the former chairman Peter Sutch. The aircraft soon performed its inaugural commercial flight on June 1st, which was a service to Osaka.

Cathay Pacific 777
Cathay is proud to have been part of the 777’s production process. Photo: Boeing

According to a press release, during the milestone 70th 777 delivery to the carrier in 2015, former Cathay Pacific CEO Ivan Chu shared his admiration for the plane. He explained how valuable it is on operations across the continents.

“The 777s have played an important role in Cathay Pacific’s fleet modernization and network expansion strategy,” Chu said, as per the press release.

“We operate the largest 777 fleet in Asia, and these aircraft offer the range, reliability and flexibility to build multiple daily frequencies on trunk routes, both within the Asia-Pacific region and, with the 777-300ERs, on long-haul and ultra-long-haul routes.”

Cathay 777 5th delivery
The Boeing 777 has helped Cathay Pacific maintain its strong position in the Asian aviation industry. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Still going strong

Today, 68 of these units are still within the company’s fleet. According to Planespotters.net, the type leads the airline’s fleet, alongside 36 Airbus A350s, 28 A330s, and 20 747s.

It uses the plane on operations to destinations across Asia, Australia, Europe, and across the Pacific to North America. Ultimately, the type is still proving to be an integral member of Cathay’s family.

What are your thoughts on Cathay Pacific’s history with the Boeing 777? Have you had a chance to fly on the aircraft? Let us know what you think in the comment.

 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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