Press: Italy looks for Alitalia partner

The government wants to rapidly find ‘a strong partner’ for troubled Alitalia SpA, the daily Finanza & Mercati said, citing sources close to the prime minister’s office. The daily also cited transport minister Raffaele Gentile saying that a merger with Air France-KLM is still a possibility.

The Italian government has a 49.9 pct stake in Alitalia, while the French and Italian airlines are already industrial partners.

There has been ongoing speculation that the two companies could merge.

Last week, the daily Le Parisien said the French government is considering proposing a deal under which Air France-KLM may bail out Alitalia in return for a pledge that Enel SpA will drop plans to take over the French utility company Suez.

Alitalia has also been nominated this year for a



World Travel Award as Europe’s Leading Airline.