Alitalia airline gets back in the whirlwind of controversy because of a new inquiry into its baggage handlers accused of theft. The news coming from Rome Fiumicino Airport talks about the arrest of 19 baggage handlers carried out by the Italian police.
The suspects are currently under house arrest and dozens more are being questioned at airports across Italy. The officers said they have initiated the investigation in collaboration with Alitalia after the airline received many complaints from passengers whose luggage either had been reported stolen of items or even not arrived.
Alitalia spokesperson reassured the victims of this snag that Alitalia will work efficiently along with the police and will reimburse them as soon as possible. The culprits who have been stealing luggage could get up to six months of jail time.
Moreover, another scandal had involved Alitalia about four months ago. On 2nd February, a flight from Pisa to Rome operated on Alitalia’s behalf by the Romanian subcontractor Carpatair, veered off the runway and came to rest on a grassy verge with its landing gear mangled. This incident caused injuries to sixteen people, of whom two seriously injured.
The Romanian ATR-72, which was flying with 50 people on board, was painted with the distinctive red, white and green of the Italian airline, as well as the word “Alitalia” in large letters on its fuselage. By the night of the incident, however, Alitalia technicians had hidden those markings with white paint, letting suppose a shameful truth behind the tragic event.
In fact, the only marking that remained was a small Romanian flag, as if just that sign had proved that the plane was leased from a Romanian budget airline, Carpatair, despite bearing Alitalia colours. The attempt to protect the brand’s reputation and to avoid the bad pubblicity unleashed the anger of many Alitalia’s customers who, during the previous month, had bought an Alitalia ticket but eventually they ended up flying with the Romanian airline unwittingly.
In other words, these are really hard times for the Italian airline, which has to cope with a bad financial contingency and numerous internal troubles. Recalling the rescue plan (a public massive “bridge loan” granted by Berlusconi government) thanks to which Alitalia wasn’t sold to AirFrance, nowadays we should be wondering and giving an assessment of how many times, in the name of the patriotism, Italy has been duped.