23 OCTOBER 2017
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The date for a final decision on the future of Alitalia was put back last week from 4 November to 30 April next year after the airline said it had received seven offers from other carriers – including Lufthansa and easyJet – to buy parts of its operation.
Conditions of the bids mean the identities of most are confidential but the German and UK companies confirmed they were among them. Ryanair had submitted a non-binding expression of interest, but withdrew because of its issues with crewing.
Alitalia entered administration in May, with regulators setting a deadline of 16 October for binding offers from interested parties. The airline was granted €900m in bridging loans, repayable by 30 September 2018.
Lufthansa, already battling hostile comment after moving to take over Air Berlin (BTN last week), said it was interested in only part of Alitalia, adding: “The commissioners responsible for the procedure and the management of Lufthansa have agreed to keep private information on the economic and financial details of the offer.”
EasyJet said it also wanted only certain assets and added: "There is no certainty at this stage that any transaction will proceed and easyJet will provide a further update in due course if and when appropriate."
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