Alitalia and Etihad in discussion

By Marc Castro

Aug 24, 2013 02:46 PM EDT

Alitalia is in discussion with Etihad Airways, resulting in the Abu Dhabi based airline purchasing a stake in the floundering Italian aircarrier. This was reported last Saturday by Italian daily il Sole 24 Ore.

Both Alitalia or Etihad could not be reached for their comment on the report.

The paper reported, citing anonymous sources, that several meetings in the past few weeks have been conducted between managers of the two airlines. One of the meetings was attended by newly appointed Alitalia CEO Gabriele del Torchio.

The two airlines had earlier mentioned a tie up but Etihad was quick to say that at the time, no talks were being conducted beyond the current code sharing agreements recently forged.

One quarter of Alitalia is owned by Air France-KLM. The Italian airline was rescued from bankruptcy back in 2008. The bailout plan was headed by the bank Intesa Sanpaolo, road operator Altlantia and holdings company IMMSI. 

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