Italy aviation government Alitalia,lead 15 Temmuz 2019 - 21:55

Atlantia, Delta picked to reboot ailing Alitalia Milan, July 15, 2019 (AFP) - Italy's state railway Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) on Monday said it had chosen the Atlantia group and US airline Delta as partners to reboot the ailing carrier Alitalia. The economy ministry is to be the fourth main investor in Alitalia, which has struggled to compete with low-cost European rivals and was placed in administration in 2017. "The Board of Directors of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane... today identified Atlantia as the partner to work alongside Delta Air Lines and the Ministry of Economy and Finance on the Alitalia operation," FS said in a statement. It said it would start on a business plan with the chosen partners "as soon as possible". FS had submitted a takeover offer for Alitalia in late October, but said it wanted solid partners to join it. Delta and the Italian Treasury had been tipped for months, but a fourth partner was needed. Atlantia is a major operator of toll expressways and airports, and is owned by the Benetton group that is best known for its clothing brand. The group has already injected money twice into the airline as it struggles with excessive debt. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio's anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which governs in a populist coalition, has been very critical of Atlantia, whose subsidiary Autostrade was in charge of maintaining a large suspension bridge that collapsed in Genoa last year. The disaster killed more than 40 people. "We have laid the foundations for the relaunch of Alitalia!" Di Maio said in a post on Facebook. "The state will continue to hold an absolute majority in the company and therefore also control of the new company," he added. Di Maio also emphasised that "nothing and nobody will erase the 43 dead on the Morandi Bridge." cco/ide/wai DELTA AIR LINES ATLANTIA Facebook AUTOSTRADE MERIDIONALI

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