Battle-weary Alitalia accepts Etihad offer

Alitalia to “rapidly come up with draft of final contract”

The board of Italy’s debt-riddled airline Alitalia has voted to accept Etihad Airways’ offer to invest in the company. The Italian carrier’s chief executive said he would move quickly to conclude the tie-up.

“Today the Etihad plan was approved, and the board delegated myself and the chairman to study and rapidly come up with a draft of the final contract,” CEO Gabriele Del Torchio said on Friday.

Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, says it is willing to invest up to €1.25 billion over the next four years, according to Italy’s transport minister. As previously reported, if Alitalia does not accept the offer, it risks bankruptcy by August.