Alitalia In Talks With Etihad For Possible Investment

The struggling Italian carrier is studying other options as well, said its CEO.



Italian airline Alitalia is working with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways on a possible investment, but there were other options on the table as well, its chief executive Gabriele Del Torchio has said.

“We are working with Etihad, but it’s too early to comment. There are various options (on the table),” he told journalists after a board meeting.

Earlier this week a political source said Etihad could invest as much as 300 million euros ($410 million) to become the top shareholder in the loss-making airline.

Del Torchio also said a 300 million euro capital increase, meant to keep the struggling carrier in the air as it seeks for a new partner, was successfully completed.

Meanwhile the Italian government said that it is “watching with interest” the ongoing talks between Alitalia and investors that could see the troubled airline integrated into a “global network”, but stressed that the country’s interests must be safeguarded.

“Alitalia is a strategic asset and ensuring that Italian citizens and the economy are served with domestic, European and intercontinental connections that are efficient and adequate for the growth of the country remain a fundamental objective,” the government said in a statement.