Delta Air Lines and easyJet have confirmed they are in talks over the future of cash-strapped Italian national carrier Alitalia.
Both airlines said they they have linked with Italy’s state-backed railway company Ferrovie dello Stato to look into submitting a bid for the airline.
Alitalia entered administration in 2017 after fellow financially struggling UAE airline Etihad Airways pulled the plug on its investment.
Ferrovie dello Stato said in a statement: “In light of the confirmation of interest received from Delta Air Lines and easyJet in being industrial partners of FS Italiane in the Alitalia deal, the Board of Directors of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane held today has decided to start a negotiation with the aforementioned airline companies, in order to proceed with the definition of the main aspects of the new Alitalia Plan.”
easyJet was cautious and said in a statement that there was “no certainty” it would proceed with a transaction to buy a stake.
Delta Air Lines also said in a statement: “Delta confirms that it has submitted a general and non-binding letter of interest to Ferrovie dello Stato about exploring a consortium approach in a future Alitalia together with easyJet.
“Alitalia is a long-standing partner of Delta, forming a part of our trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France and KLM.”