Abu Dhabi’s Etihad submits non-binding offer for ailing Alitalia

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad submits non-binding offer for ailing Alitalia
Alitalia went into administration in May after union workers rejected an almost €2 billion restructuring plan for the ailing airline. (Reuters)
Updated 23 July 2017

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad submits non-binding offer for ailing Alitalia

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad submits non-binding offer for ailing Alitalia

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways has submitted a non-binding offer for a partial or total takeover of ailing flagship airline Alitalia, Italian media has reported.
The struggling Italian airline has received about ten non-binding offers, including from Delta Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Easyjet and Ryanair, the reports added.
Alitalia went into administration in May after union workers rejected an almost €2 billion (SR8 billion) restructuring plan put forward by management and shareholders, including Etihad Airways, which acquired a 49 percent stake in the airline in 2014 as part of its global expansion strategy.
The Italian government had a provided €600 million bridging loan to keep the Alitalia fleet flying for around six months while the sale process continues, and has given those interested in making binding offers until October to submit bids.
Italian transport minister has warned against splitting up the airline into parts, telling a parliamentary committee this week that: “We think Alitalia is an asset for the country from the industrial standpoint and still has potential for growth, as long as it is absolutely not broken up”.
Saying that a “real investor” must be found, Delrio said Alitalia “can’t sell routes, assets and maintenance sectors, but must be kept whole,” adding the Italian government could remain involved in the airline even after a strategic investor was found.