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

Delta, easyJet confirm Alitalia joint bid talks

Italy’s state-owned rail firm Ferrovie dello Stato, Delta and easyJet are exploring putting in a joint offer.

Delta Air Lines and easyJet confirm they have joined forces, together with Italy’s state-owned rail company Ferrovie dello Stato, to explore a bid to take over Alitalia.

The news about the would-be consortium follows easyJet’s expression of interest in a restructured Alitalia last October.

“There is no certainty at this stage that any transaction will proceed, and easyJet will provide a further update in due course, if and when appropriate,” easyJet cautioned in a statement today.

Alitalia was put under administration in 2017 after workers rejected the last of a long series of rescue plans, leaving the government once again having to seek a buyer to save the long-suffering airline.

Delta has also confirmed it has submitted a “general and non-binding letter of interest” to Ferrovie dello Stato.

The rail operator has said in the past that it is willing to put in an offer for Alitalia – if was made together with one or more industrial partners.

New Alitalia?
Italy’s government is willing to participate in the creation of a ‘New Alitalia’ using an investment from the Treasury, on the condition it is in line with European Union rules and that there is a sustainable business plan, it said yesterday.

Lufthansa has also expressed an interest in Alitalia, but only if the Italian flag carrier sheds jobs and if it can get full control of the airline.

Alitalia has cost Italian taxpayers almost €10 billion to keep flying over the last 20 years, more than the market capitalisations of Norwegian, Finnair, SAS, Air France-KLM and Turkish Airlines combined, according to the European consultancy TRA Consulting.

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