Alitalia cuts 150 flights at Malpensa

Alitalia intends to nearly half its presence at the Milan airport of Malpensa by cutting over 150 flights a day, the daily Il Sole 24 Ore said after the troubled airline met with unions yesterday to discuss its business plan. Malpensa is the airline’s second hub alongside the Roman airport Fiumicino, on which it is now focusing.

The newspaper also said that the airline rejected speculation that it could sell its regional unit Alitalia Express, but does intend to reduce regional flights which could lead to the sale of 10 ATR72 and two Embraer aircraft.

Alitalia is scheduled to hold a board meeting on Friday to examine its business plan and could decide on the size of a mandatory capital increase to cover past losses, it said.

Il Sole 24 Ore also cited Claudio Genovesi, leader of the FIT-CISL union as saying that British Airways PLC, along with Air France-KLM, Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Aeroflot could be interested in taking over Alitalia.

The Italian government owns 49.9 pct of Alitalia and intends to privatise the company.