The battle for Italian carrier Alitalia is hotting up as this week easyJet and the Italian state-owned railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) registered interest, while Delta Air Lines is also reportedly looking to invest in the state-owned carrier, reports claim.
easyJet said it has submitted a “revised expression of interest” in a restructured Alitalia and said in its submission, which is in response to the new Italian government’s ongoing sales process, is “consistent with its existing strategy” for Italy.
Alitalia has been under special administration since last year after workers rejected a rescue plan and the state-appointed administrators have received two binding offers for the Italian airline and one non-binding expression of interest.
German airline Lufthansa which had previously expressed an interest in Alitalia, said this week it had no interest in participating in a government-led restructuring effort.
Alitalia has suffered due to intense competition from high-speed trains and low-cost carriers, eroding its market share and denting its profits.
Reuters reports that Alitalia has cost Italian tax payers almost €10 billion (£8.8 billion) over the last 20 years, more than the market capitalisation of Air France-KLM, Turkish Airlines, Norwegian, Finnair and SAS combined, according to TRA Consulting.
The sale process, initially to be closed by April, was delayed due to the change of Italy’s government and is set to take longer to close.