Minister sees Alitalia alliance with Air France

Italian airline Alitalia and Franco-Dutch carrier Air France-KLM are likely to sign an alliance after the government sells the controlling stake in Alitalia, newspaper La Stampa cites Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi as saying in an interview. Bianchi said the government wanted the first phase of the Alitalia tender offer to focus on financial and industrial plans, while later the aim would be on possible alliances. He was satisfied with the list of possible buyers for the government stake, although the number will be reduced as some don’t meet the necessary legal requirements.

The Italian Treasury said Monday it received 11 expressions of interest from investors to buy state-controlled Alitalia SpA, the first step in a privatization process that the government hopes will save the loss-plagued airline.