Italy extends deadline for sale of Alitalia to end of October

FILE PHOTO: People walk in the Alitalia departure hall during a strike by Italy's national airline Alitalia workers at Fiumicino international airport in Rome, Italy July 24, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s government on Thursday extended the deadline for the sale of struggling flagship carrier Alitalia [CAITLA.UL] to the end of October, Industry minister Carlo Calenda said.

The airline entered insolvency proceedings in May 2017 and the Italian government has since been seeking an investor.

But the sale process was delayed as a result of uncertainty around national elections held in March, which ended in a hung parliament.

The cabinet on Thursday also postponed the deadline for the repayment of a bridge loan granted to the carrier to Dec. 15.

The conclusion of the sales process and the repayment of the credit line were initially expected by April 30.

(This version of the story removes reference to Etihad, paragraph 2)

Reporting by Massimiliano di Giorgio