MILAN Feb 3 Italian airline Alitalia finalised loan agreements with banks for a total 165 million euros ($223 million), below the 200 million initially sought, that will keep it flying while it searches for a new partner, two sources close to the matter said on Monday.
The loans are part of a government-stitched emergency package put together last year to give the troubled airline enough cash while it restructures and finalises talks with Etihad Airways on a possible investment.
"Alitalia has asked for 200 million and we have come down to 165 million, a sufficient sum to plug the gap until Etihad makes a decision," one of the sources said.
Italy's two top lenders UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo have pledged 70 million euros each, troubled bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena 10 million euros and Banca Popolare di Sondrio 15 million euros. ($1 = 0.7397 euros) (Reporting by Paola Arosio, writing by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Isla Binnie)