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Ryanair and Etihad eye controlling stake in Alitalia

July 26, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Cut-price carrier Ryanair and United Arab Emirates’ national airline Etihad Airways are among 10 bidders to have made offers for Italy’s struggling Alitalia, Italian media has reported.

The offers are for total or partial take-over. The deadline for loss-making Alitalia to receive non-binding offers is now up, according to a report run by Arabian Business.

Anyone interested in making a binding offer has a bit longer to mull it over – until October.

Alitalia needs a buyer to avoid liquidation. About 18 companies are interested, with reports naming some of the potential suitors as Delta Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Easyjet and Ryanair. Critics are wondering what Ryanair sees in Alitalia. They feel the Italian airline – a legacy carrier confronted by fierce competition from low-cost rivals (such as Ryanair) – may have passed its “buy-by” date.

Alitalia is surviving only because Italy’s government props it up. The government pledged in May to provide a bridging loan to keep Alitalia flying for another six months or so.

So if you’re thinking of buying an airline, now’s your chance. If no buyer turns up, the administrators will organise Alitalia’s winding-up. The job losses that would involve, including suppliers as well as employees, comes to about 20,000 people.

Written by Peter Needham

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