25 FEBRUARY 2019
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Moves to rescue Alitalia have moved up a gear after Italy’s state-controlled railway nework Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) said it would start talks with Delta Air Lines and easyJet to form a consortium to run the carrier.
Alitalia was put under special administration in 2017 after workers rejected initial moves to save Alitalia. Italy’s government has said it will not nationalise the airline but FS said it would make an offer provided it was supported by one or more partners. Delta and easyJet confirmed the talks are under way.
Alitalia has continued flying despite being in administration after ministers agreed a €600m loan to keep it running while other options were explored, but initial negotiations were interrupted with the change of government in Italy.
Italian media have previously reported Lufthansa and Ryanair were among other parties interested in the sale but updated the story to say the government was considering a joint deal with Delta and easyJet so long as FS kept a majority stake.
In a statement to investors, easyJet confirmed the talks but warned “there is no certainty at this stage that any transaction will proceed”. The airline said it would provide an update in due course, “if and when appropriate”.
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