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Italian airline Alitalia will be put up for sale in two weeks after entering administration earlier this week.
The carrier went into “extraordinary” administration on Tuesday after Alitalia staff rejected a €2 billion restructuring plan. The airline continues to operate services as normal.
Carlo Calenda, Italy’s economic development minister, said in a radio interview that the commissioners dealing with Alitalia’s administration “will be open to expressions of interest” for the airline within two weeks.
He also confirmed that the priority for the Italian government was to see the sale of the whole of Alitalia.
The Italian government has also given Alitalia a loan of €600 million to keep the company running but this will only be available for around six months.
Etihad, which has a 49 per cent shareholding in Alitalia, said it was no longer willing to continue funding the Italian airline after employees voted against the restructuring plan last week.
James Hogan, Etihad’s CEO, added: “We have done all we could to support Alitalia, as a minority shareholder, but it is clear this business requires fundamental and far-reaching restructuring to survive and grow in future.
“Without the support of all stakeholders for that restructuring, we are not prepared to continue to invest.”“Italy remains an important market for us and we will continue to work with Alitalia as a commercial partner alongside our own presence in Italy.”