13 MAY 2019
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The deadline for bids from companies trying to keep Italy’s stuggling flag-carrier Alitalia in the air was extended by the Italian government again last week. Deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio said the date had been reset for 15 June.
Reports said the decision followed a request from Italy’s state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), which has said it would be willing to contribute to the rescue plan.
FS floated a bid last October, but wants to limit its holding to 30%. It is said to have been working on a partnership with Delta Air Lines, which is interested in a 15% stake, with the Italian Treasury taking another 15%.
Italy’s government wants to save Alitalia to avoid mass lay-offs among the airline’s workers but would still need at least one more investor to make up a bid estimated to be worth some €1bn (about £850m).
Alitalia meanwhile is pursuing business as usual after launching a new transatlantic route connecting its hub at Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino with Washington Dulles International Airport.
The five-times-weekly service is operating with a 256-seat Airbus A330-200 with 20 Magnifica (Business Class) seats, 17 in Premium Economy and 219 in Economy seats. Washington is Alitalia’s sixth US destination.
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