MILAN, April 28 Alitalia's top creditors, banks
Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit, are willing to
convert debt worth 400 million euros ($553 million) into shares
in the airline to facilitate a deal with Gulf-based peer Etihad
Airways, a source close to the matter said.
However, the banks want the Italian government to do its
part and help ease a possible 49 percent investment by Etihad
into the loss-making Italian carrier, the source said.
Alitalia, now a private company, was kept afloat by a rescue
package engineered by the Italian government last year but needs
to find a cash-rich partner quickly to revamp its flight network
or risk having to ground its planes.
($1 = 0.7227 Euros)
(Reporting by Lisa Jucca, editing by Agnieszka Flak)