Italy's Letta says pleased at prospect of Alitalia, Etihad deal

ABU DHABI Sun Feb 2, 2014 10:22am EST

ABU DHABI Feb 2 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Sunday he was pleased by the prospect of an investment by Abu Dhabi's Etihad in troubled Italian airline Alitalia and hoped a successful deal would be worked out.

The two companies announced earlier they were in the final phase of a due diligence process aimed at ensuring Alitalia could return to profitability and would work to try to finalise a common strategy over the next 30 days.

"I am very happy with the announcement, we have worked for this outcome," Letta told reporters during a visit to Abu Dhabi.

He said Alitalia needed a strategic investor and his government would follow the talks with "great hope" and a flexible approach because the two sides "are people who know their business".