“In light of the confirmation of interest received from Delta Air Lines and EasyJet in being industrial partners of FS Italiane in the Alitalia deal,” the state railways company “has decided to start a negotiation,” it said in a statement.
Ferrovie dello Stato is taking the lead in attempts to save the troubled national carrier. Atlanta-based Delta and EasyJet, Britain's biggest low-cost airline, are mulling whether to jointly buy up to 40 percent of Alitalia, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP
The Italian government said on Wednesday it was willing to “participate in the establishment of the New Alitalia”, as long as the business plan is “sustainable… and in compliance with European legislation”.
German airline Lufthansa had expressed interest in Alitalia as well, but in October Lufthansa ruled out any deal that involved the Italian state.
Alitalia, which employs more than 11,000 people, has struggled to compete with low-cost European rivals and has been placed in administration.