Italy's ailing national airline is bankrupt and can no longer guarantee scheduled flights. Without the liquid finds necessary to purchase petrol, thousands of distressed travellers across the world risk being grounded for good. In an effort to avoid collapse, the country's biggest unions have been holding frenetic talks with members of a consortium willing to buy-out the ailing state-controlled airline. Called Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI), the consortium is made up 19 potential investors who are some of Italy's biggest and wealthiest entrepreneurs.
However, fierce opposition from the carrier's unions has threatened the Alitalia rescue deal. CAI pulled out of negotiations with unions on September 12 when the union leaders refused to accept what they said were necessary staff and pay cuts.
In an effort to avoid the inevitable job loses caused by collapse, unions agreed to cut some 3,000 workers and reduce salaries by as much as 40 percent on September 14. According to CAI's industrial plan, the unprofitable services offered by Alitalia are to be sold or liquidated.