Etihad Airways is in the final stages of negotiations for its planned investment in struggling Italian carrier Alitalia.
The Abu Dhabi based carrier said on 1 June that it would forward a letter detailing the conditions and the criteria for its proposed stake in the carrier following months of negotiations. The Italian government has looked favourably on the proposed partnership, it adds.Subject to confirmation by the Alitalia board and its stakeholders, the two airlines would then proceed to the final stage of the transaction.Etihad’s president and chief executive officer, James Hogan, says: “We are delighted to be able to move forward with this process and look forward to the successful conclusion of the proposed transaction with Alitalia.”Alitalia chief executive officer, Gabriele Del Torchio, adds: “This is an excellent outcome for Alitalia. This investment will provide financial stability.” But managing director of the Italian arm of general sales agent Aviationplus, Francesco Traverso, told Air Cargo Week that the Italian airfreight industry market is keeping a wary eye on Etihad’s move to take a stake in Alitalia. He says: “This will for sure change the scenario in Italy, if Alitalia becomes the strong cargo player that it has not been up until now.”