Italian government okays final hurdle for Alitalia take-over

The Italian government has given the green light for Alitalia to be sold to investment consortium Italian Air Company (CAI) for around one billion euros. The revamped airline is due to be relaunched on 1 December.The minister for economic development Claudio Scajola authorised the special administrator in charge of Alitalia, Augusto Fantozzi, “to proceed with selling the assets ... at a price no less than 1.052 billion euros,” a government statement said.

Yesterday’s approval has cleared the final stage for the take-over after EU authorities gave regulatory approval last week.

The airline, 49.9 % owned by the Italian state, still seeks a foreign partner to take a minority stake in the relaunched firm.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has expressed his favour for a potential alliance between Alitalia and Lufthansa over Air France-KLM.
However Italian media reports that Alitalia has delayed a decision on a foreign partner until the end of the year.

CAI is to retain 12,500 Alitalia workers while cutting some 3,250 jobs.