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Delta, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic have excluded Alitalia in their U.S. Department of Transportation filing for an amended joint-venture agreement. The July 20 filing follows the carriers' plans, announced last year, to consolidate Delta's parallel partnerships with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic into a single JV.
Alitalia, which is seeking investors amid bankruptcy proceedings that began last year, had been a part of the SkyTeam JV with Delta and Air France-KLM but is not a part of the JV in the amended filing. "Although [we] hope to implement metal-neutral cooperation with Alitalia in the future, Alitalia is currently undergoing restructuring through the Italian bankruptcy process, and its future ownership structure is uncertain," according to the filing. "The timing of any future agreement with Alitalia is currently uncertain."
Among the complications, one of the JV's primary competitors could eventually hold a stake in Alitalia. Italian newspaper Il Giornale reported last week that Italy Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli aims for the government to own 51 percent of the carrier and for private investors to own the rest. Lufthansa, which is in a competing transatlantic JV with United and Air Canada, remains a leading potential investor.