12 NOVEMBER 2018
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EasyJet and Lufthansa were back in the spotlight in the Alitalia debate last week in moves to meet an Italian government deadline for expressions of interest in the bankrupt carrier (BTN 23 July).
EasyJet was said to have made a new bid but said details of its revised approach were confidential and declined further comment. It added: “There is no certainty … any transaction will proceed and easyJet will provide a further update in due course, if and when appropriate."
Chief executive Johan Lundgren revealed some weeks ago he was still talking to the Italian government with a view to acquiring Alitalia's short-haul operations but the talks were delayed by the Italian elections.
At Lufthansa, group CEO Carsten Spohr told ATWOnline the airline was considering a commercial partnership with Alitalia, but had ruled out a financial investment. “Investing is out of the question for us alongside a state-owned entity,” he said.
He added that “a commercial partnership is on the agenda for the next few months; we know the management team at Alitalia very well.”
Alitalia went into administration last year and was kept afloat by Italian state loans of €900m. The new Italian government has said it wants to recoup the money and find a buyer for the airline by 15 December.
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