Alitalia bid reaches deadline: who’s left in the game?
British budget airline EasyJet has renewed its interest in acquiring parts of loss-making Alitalia as the Italian government resumes attempts to sell the bankrupt flag carrier following the already once-extended deadline.
EasyJet said on October 31, 2018, it had submitted a revised expression of interest in Alitalia, saying its proposal in the restructured Italian carrier is consistent with its “existing strategy for Italy”, The Financial Times reported.
U.S. giant Delta Air Lines has also presented a proposal and Italian state railways Ferrovie dello Stato said it made an offer as well. According to Bloomberg, state-appointed administrators for Alitalia confirmed that two binding bids and one expression of interest had been received.
Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa had previously expressed its interest in Alitalia, however later backed out of bidding stating it would not co-invest with the Italian government in an airline under such restructurization as Alitalia. Also not expected to renew their interest in the carrier are Wizz Air and Air France-KLM.
Alitalia entered into special administration last year. An initial deadline for bidders, April 30, 2018, failed to result in a sale and was extended to October 31 of this year following the change in Italy’s government. Alitalia needs rescue promptly to pay back the government a bridge loan of €1 million until the financing expires in December 2018.