Air France-KLM to discuss Alitalia fate today

Alitalia needs €300 million in 2013 to keep flying

Air France-KLM is meeting today to decide if it will bid to take full control of Alitalia by the end of 2013, upping its stake from the current 25% and injecting capital into the struggling Italian airline.

Alitalia quadrupled its net loss in 2012 to €280 million. In July it said it needed €300 million to keep flying this year.

Other shareholders in the carrier include Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, the road operator Atlantia and holding company IMMSI, the owner of the scooter-maker Piaggio. It is possible that one or more of these could sell their stakes once a lock-up period expires in mid-October.

The French and Italian transport ministers are scheduled to meet this week, also to discuss the Alitalia’s fate.

However, Air France is itself in a weak position financially. Its chief executive, Alexandre de Juniac, said at the start of 2013 that there had been no negotiations with shareholders about building the Alitalia stake.