Sunday, July 23, 2017

Etihad among bidders for Alitalia stake: report

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is one of around 10 bidders that have shown interest to buy a partial or full stake in the Italian airline Alitalia, said a report.

The non-binding bid, submitted ahead of a deadline on Friday, also suggests that Etihad may not be ready to reverse course on its international investment strategy, said The National report.

Etihad sold its stake in Switzerland’s Darwin Airline following a strategic review launched last year.

“Strong ties continue to exist between Alitalia and Etihad Aviation Group and we remain open to exploring all options to maintain and potentially deepen those ties for mutual benefit,” an Etihad spokesman was quoted by report sa saying.

The Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair is alos among the bidders for Alitalia, the report said.

Eithad acquired a 49 per cent stake in Alitalia in 2014 as part of its global expansion drive, with a view to making the airline profitable again by 2017. But the airline’s passenger numbers continued to fall amid stiff competition from low-cost carriers including Ryanair.

The Italian government put the airline up for sale in May, in a bid to avert its liquidation.

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