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Alitalia A319 (photo: © Thorbjørn Brunander Sund, danishaviationphoto.com)

Alitalia: two offers, one expression of interest

Three major travel players have been named by inside sources as having responded by the deadline.

Two binding offers for Alitalia and one non-binding expression of interest have been given to state-appointed administrators before a deadline passed on proposals for investment in the loss-making Italian airline.

The administrators gave no details about the bids, only that they would examine the proposals carefully in the coming days, the news agency Reuters reports.

An inside source tells Reuters that Delta Air Lines has made one of the offers for Alitalia. Alitalia and Delta are partners in a transatlantic joint venture that also includes Air France-KLM.

Asked for a comment, the US carrier said it would “continue to explore ways to work with Alitalia and maintain our partnership in the future”.

The low-cost carrier easyJet says it has submitted the expression of interest in the Italian airline, while the second offer is believed to have come from Italy’s state-controlled rail company Ferrovie dello Stato. Lufthansa, meanwhile, has said it is no longer interested.

Crushing competition
Once a European aviation giant, Alitalia has faced crushing competition from high-speed trains and low-cost carriers in recent years.

It has cost Italian taxpayers almost €10 billion to keep flying over the last 20 years. A sale had initially meant to go through by April, but it was delayed because of a change in Italy’s government.

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