easyJet pulls out of talks to join consortium set to bid for Alitalia

posted on 19th March 2019 by Justin Burns

UK low-cost carrier easyJet has pulled out of talks to join a consortium that could be set to bid for Italy’s struggling national carrier Alitalia.

It was in talks along Delta Air Lines and Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane about a possible deal to take-over the cash-strapped airline which went into administration in early 2017 after workers rejected a plan to cut jobs and salaries.

easyJet said in a statement: “Following discussions with Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Delta Air Lines about forming a consortium to explore options for the future operations of Alitalia, easyJet has taken the decision to withdraw from the process.

“easyJet remains committed to Italy, as a key market for the company, where it currently carries 18.5 million passengers every year and employs 1400 pilots and crew, all on local contracts. We continue to invest in the three bases in Milan, Naples, Venice, as we have done by basing additional aircraft in Venice and Naples last summer.”

Alitalia has been propped up by the government since 2017, which is now looking for private finances and Delta, easyJet and Ferrovie dello Stato Italian have been in discussions since February about potentially forming a consortium.

The Italian government has set an end-of-March deadline for Delta and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane to come up with a rescue plan to revive Alitalia and take the airline back to its glory days.