Alitalia open to offers until June 5

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Rome, May 18 (IANS/AKI) Alitalia has kicked off its sale process with the publication of a tender inviting non-binding offers for the bankrupt flagship airline by June 5.

Bids from single companies or consortia can be made to buy the whole company, restructure it or acquire assets and contracts, according to the tender document signed by government-appointed commissioners and issued late on Wednesday.

Binding offers for Alitalia are to be received by October, one of the three commissioners, Enrico Lagh, said last week.

The Italian cabinet on May 2 approved the 600 million euro loan to keep Alitalia in business for a maximum period of six months, until a buyer is found or a decision is taken to liquidate the company.

Alitalia is losing around one million euros a day and filed for bankruptcy after its workforce in April roundly rejected a turnaround plan involving job and salary cuts that would have unlocked 2 billion euros of fresh investments for the company.

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Rival airlines including Lufthansa and Norwegian Air have shown little interest in buying Alitalia.

It is struggling to compete at home against low-cost carriers Ryanair and EasyJet as well as high-speed train links and has failed to invest sufficiently in more profitable long-haul routes.

Qatar Airways is reportedly one of the few potential buyers for Alitalia.



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