Posted November 5th, 2004, 11:13 AM
To react on: "Do yourself a favor and find a reputable airline."
Do not get a wrong impression: Alitalia is a reputable airline not an obscure company with three fifty year old airplanes or something like that. True, it is in financial distress like almost every other airline but at least it is government backed.
I partly agree - AZ has a long history and a long reputation, and I would agree that it's reputable despite its current financial problems.
However, the reality is that many of its big competitors are not
in financial distress, and "government backing" means nothing if the government is not allowed (by law) to put any more money into the airline to stop it going bust.
Even if AZ doesn't go bust in the next 10 months, there are also risks as to the shape of its network: What routes will it still be operating?
By choosing a low fare, you are also buying a certain amount of risk - that's one of the reasons for the pricing. The way I see it, most leisure air travel can absorb a certain amount of risk. Flying to a cruise, however, is less flexible than most leisure travel, because you have
to be there by a certain time on a certain date. You'll need to weigh up what savings you'll get by buying an AZ ticket rather than some other airline's, and whether you're prepared to take on that degree of extra risk for those savings.