Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair is among around a dozen bidders to have made a non-binding offer for ailing carrier Alitalia.
The Italian flag-carrier filed for special administration earlier this year as debts continued to mount.
It is the second time the airline has faced bankruptcy since 2008 and will be restructured, sold off or wound up.
“We are serious in indicating we have an interest in Alitalia,” said Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary of the unlikely move.
“But we are also serious in that our interest in Alitalia is only if there was a significant restructuring so that Alitalia could reasonably be seen to operate on a profitable basis.”
It is thought a key condition would be the absence of Italian government interference.
The Italian government said in May it would provide a bridging loan to keep the airline flying for a further six months.
However, officials have ruled out renationalising Alitalia in the long-term.
The carrier was privatised and relaunched nine years ago after filing for bankruptcy in 2007.
Interest airlines have until October to make binding offers for the carrier.
However, if no buyer comes forward then administrators will be faced with the prospect of winding up Alitalia.
Alitalia is currently 49 per cent owned by Gulf airline Etihad.