April 25, 2018 / 3:13 PM / a year ago

Italy cabinet to meet Thursday to delay Alitalia sale, bridge loan - sources

FILE PHOTO: An Alitalia Airbus A320-200 passenger aircraft takes off at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome, Italy January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - A cabinet meeting has been called Thursday to approve a delay in the sales process of flagship carrier Alitalia and the repayment of a bridge loan, two government sources said on Wednesday.

On April 11 the Italian Industry ministry said it had received three offers for Alitalia, one of which, from Lufthansa LHAD.DE, contained improved terms.

The ministry said on that occasion a decree would be approved shortly to extend the sales process and repayment of the bridge loan beyond an April 30 deadline.

Two days ago Europe’s antitrust said it had launched a procedure to see if the 900 million euro ($1.1 billion) bridge loan Rome granted the struggling airline constituted state aid.

Alitalia has been under special administration since May last year.

($1 = 0.8216 euros)

Reporting by Massimiliano di Giorgio and Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Stephen Jewkes

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