Ustanovitev nacionalnega letalskega prevoznika: Mojstri Italijani in zmedeno-nesposobni Slovenci

Primer ustanovitve novega italijanskega nacionalnega letalskega prevoznika ITA je dober pokazatelj sposobnosti preizkušenih mačkov, kako “preveslati” EU pravila glede državne pomoči. In seveda zmedenosti in nesposobnosti naših vladnih predstavnikov v zadnjih petih letih. Kot sem že pisal, je italijanska vlada ustanovila novega letalskega prevoznika ITA, ki bo začel delovati 15. oktobra letos. Pri tem ji je uspelo več metov hkrati. Najprej je uspela prepričati Evropsko komisijo, da lahko odobri 1.35 milijarde evrov državne pomoči – ob (navideznem) pogoju, da prejšnji nacionalni prevoznik AIitalia povrne 900 mio evrov državne pomoči. Ker je AIitalia bankrotirala, seveda te pomoči ne bo mogla povrniti, ker bo stečajne mase le za vzorec, če sploh kaj. Drugič, italijanska vlada se je pogodila z Evropsko komisijo, da lahko ITA na “odprtem mednarodnem razpisu” tekmuje za odkup blagovne znamke AIitalija, pri čemer je izklicna cena postavljena visoko na 290 mio evrov. Od konkurentov je interes izrazil samo Ryanair – in ga umaknil. Torej bo ITA lahko letela pod blagovno znamko AIitalia.

Tretjič, v pogajanjih z Evropsko komisijo je italijanska vlada dosegla, da bo ITA lahko prevzela ključna “sredstva” (esenco vrednosti) nekdanje AIitalie: 85% slotov Alitalia na milanskem letališču Linate in 43% slotov na rimskem Fiumicinu. ITA bo svojo pot začela tudi s 52 letalskimi letali družbe Alitalia. Torej bo ITA ne samo lahko letela pod blagovno znamko AIitalia, ampak tudi uporabila večino njenih slotov ter ključna letala (ostale pa bo vzela leasing).

In četrtič, nova družba ITA se je “znebila” večine od 11,000 zaposlenih in bo letos prevzela le 2,800, prihodnje leto pa jih namerava povečati na 5,750. Torej bo ITA ne samo lahko letela pod blagovno znamko AIitalia, uporabila večino njenih slotov ter ključna letala, ampak tudi njene ključne zaposlene (s čimer bo postala bolj vitka, konkurenča in se predvsem znebila napornih pogajanj s sindikati glede znižanja plač in odpravnin).

To je “Art of Deal” po italijansko. Zdaj pa to primerjajte z mrcvarjenjem nekdanje Adrie Airways, njeno prodajo skladu z minimalnim ustanovnim kapitalom, podarjeno dokapitalizacijo ter zmedenostjo in nesposobnostjo hitro ustanoviti novega prevzoznika na pogorišču Adrie, ko je njen lastnik, čudežni sklad z minimalnim ustanovnim kapitalom, iz nje posrkal še ves preostali življenjski sok. Tako kot imamo na italijanski strani znane zaslužnike za preoblikovanje propadle AIitalije (Draghi in njegovi ministri), imamo na naši strani znane grobarje za potop Adrie (Cerar, Počivalšek) in krivce za neustanovitev nove družbe (Šarec, Počivalšek; Janša, Počivalšek).

Seveda to ne pomeni, da bo nova družba ITA komercialno tako uspešna, da bo lahko poslovala brez državnih subvencij v prihodnosti. V borbi proti nizkocenovnikom, katerih poslovni model temelji na (regionalnih) subvencijah in nizki kvaliteti, ter disrupciji, ki jo je povzročila epidemija in ki bo imela daljnosežne posledice na letalski promet, bomo težko našli nacionalnega letalskega prevoznika, ki bo lahko na dolgi rok posloval brez subvencij. Vendar pa nacionalni prevozniki opravljajo “infrastrukturno funkcijo” redne mednarodne povezljivosti države. Tako kot železniški in avtobusni promet, ki sta oba v vseh EU članicah subvencionirana, da opravljata funkcijo redne povezljivosti znotraj državnih meja. Slejkoprej bo treba to regulirati na EU ravni tudi za (nacionalne) letalske prevoznike v mednarodnem prometu, s čimer bo tudi bistveno manj sprenevedanja in kreativnega izogibanja neživljenjskih EU pravil glede državnih pomoči.

Nekaj odlomkov iz Politico o italijanskem “Art of Deal”:

The European Commission determined last week that ITA and Alitalia are separate entities — so-called economic discontinuity. As a result, the new company is not liable for €900 million in illegal state aid received by its predecessor, which also allows Rome to inject €1.35 billion of fresh money into the new company.

Brussels managed to find a “digestible compromise” between Rome’s requests and a strict application of the bloc’s state aid rules, said Tommaso Valletti, who served as DG Comp’s former chief economist when the Alitalia probe was launched in 2018. He also acknowledged that “the decision leaves a bitter taste in the mouth” as “money will be never paid pack, nor will the past competition distortion be rectified.”

The Alitalia rescue was decided by the previous government led by the 5Stars’ Giuseppe Conte, whose initial plan didn’t meet DG COMP’s expectations. After Draghi took over, a series of meetings between his ministers and Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager led to a “common understanding” on what was needed to make sure that ITA and Alitalia are separate companies.

It’s not the first time the Commission has approved a transformation for Alitalia.

In 2008, the Commission concluded there was no continuity between a bankrupt Alitalia and its successor, Compagnia Aerea Italiana (CAI), a consortium of private investors convinced by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to rescue the struggling carrier. Brussels also found there was “economic discontinuity” between CAI and Alitalia, which allowed the new entity to avoid repaying €300 million of illegal aid received by Alitalia. 

The Commission was persuaded that CAI — flying under the Alitalia brand — would be a different, slimmed down and more profitable entity. It didn’t work out that way. Hammered by competition from low-cost carriers, saddled with unprofitable routes and an expensive and inefficient workforce, the carrier burned through billions in bailouts and loans.

Alitalia even tried to anticipate the risk that its brand could be sold to disrespectful bidders. The call for tenders makes clear that bidders should not use the brand “for activities or forms of communication that may prejudice the image of any Member State of the European Union, in the economic, cultural, tourist and transport fields.”

Only companies “having a net worth … of not less than €200 million and holding air transport operating licenses or air operator certifications” are allowed to bid.

Potentially more problematic than the open tender, according to London School of Economics competition law professor, Pablo Ibañez Colomo, is the way behind-closed-doors negotiations will see ITA take over a large portion of Alitalia’s slots; some 85 percent of routes held by Alitalia at Milan’s Linate Airport and 43 percent of those at Rome Fiumicino. ITA will also start life with 52 of Alitalia’s aircraft. 

But transactions done without a tender could open the Commission’s decision to challenges, said Ibañez Colomo.

“It’s always been one of the aspects that I found trickier, or less convincing in this sort of circumstance. Because, you could say, you’re basically getting the good bits of a company, or [its] valuable assets … without any of the liabilities,” Ibañez Colomo said.

Vir: Politico

One response

  1. Sprašujem se, ali gre res le za nesposobnost…ali morda tudi za provizije ob prodaji nacionalnega prevoznika.

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