ROME Italian officials will meet executives from Alitalia, Etihad Airways and creditor banks next week for more talks on a rescue deal for the troubled Italian carrier, Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said on Tuesday.
Lupi and Graziano Delrio, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's chief of staff, met representatives from the companies and the banks on Tuesday and made progress toward an overall deal that would see Abu Dhabi's Etihad take a 49 percent stake.
"It went very well, we're on the home straight," Lupi told reporters after the meeting. "We're still missing a few details but the path forward has been laid out clearly," he said.
He said there would be a meeting involving the government, unions, the banks and company executives next week.
Etihad agreed last week to take a 49 percent stake in the loss-making airline in a deal which the Italian government hopes will bring Alitalia the money it needs to invest in a new strategy focused on long-haul routes.
However final agreement over a new industrial plan has been held up by disagreements over issues including restructuring the airlines's debt and over Etihad's demand to cut around 2,200 jobs.
Lupi, Italy's labor minister Giuliano Poletti and unions are expected to meet on Wednesday to seek ways to minimise the number and impact of the proposed job cuts.
(Reporting by Alberto Sisto; Editing by Tom Heneghan)