The Italian government on March 16 outlined a plan to re-nationalise its former national carrier Alitalia that had gone bankrupt. According to reports, the rescue plan could cost the Italian taxpayers a whopping $670 million. The re-nationalisation of Alitalia will be part of an emergency economic rescue plan for coronavirus pandemic.
The government of Italy was earlier planning to sell the national carrier but the plan had to be abandon as coronavirus outbreak caused havoc in Europe. As per reports, the government is now planning to take full control of the ailing airline's aviation and land operations. Rome had earlier planned to sell the flag-carrying aircraft by May 31 but it now seems that it has some other schemes in its kitty.
Experts believe that Alitalia suffered a heavy loss because of fierce competition from budget airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair that operate in the region. The other major reason behind its fallout was that it employed too many staff despite having a low number of passengers compared to other airlines.
Italy is the worst affected country outside mainland China where more than 2,100 people have lost their lives. Italy is the only country besides China to report a four-digit death toll from coronavirus. So far the country has logged in 2,158 deaths from the disease outbreak. Currently, there are 23,073 active cases in Italy, of which 1,851 patients remain under critical condition. Italy has successfully treated 2,749 patients since the virus first escalated in January 2020.
The COVID-19 has claimed more than 7,100 lives across the world and has infected over 1,82,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.