Italy creates new company to press ahead with Alitalia nationalisation plan

FILE PHOTO: Alitalia planes pictured at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy has approved the creation of a new company to house the assets of troubled airline Alitalia as the government presses ahead with a plan to nationalise the company.

The nationalisation plan, which was delayed by political infighting, will now need to be approved by the European Commission.

The economy, industry, transport and labour ministers signed late on Friday the decree setting up the new company.

“Italy’s new flagship carrier was born today,” Transport Minister Paola De Micheli said.

Alitalia has endured 11 years of difficult private management and three failed restructuring attempts, problems exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis that has devastated the global airline industry.

Reporting by Valentina Za and Francesca Landini; writing by Giulio Piovaccari and Mark Potter