February 13, 2019 / 6:38 PM / 6 months ago

Italy government says it is willing to invest in a 'New Alitalia'

FILE PHOTO: An Alitalia airplane is seen before take off from the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy is willing to support the creation of a “New Alitalia” in the latest attempt to help revive the struggling carrier, the prime minister’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

Alitalia was put under special administration in 2017 after workers rejected its latest rescue plan, leaving the government once again seeking a buyer to save the carrier. It will be the airline’s third rescue in a decade.

“The government is willing to participate in the creation of a New Alitalia, through the economy ministry, on the condition that this is in line with European rules and that there is a sustainable business plan in place,” the statement said after a meeting between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio and Economy Minister Giovanni Tria.

Italy’s state-controlled railways Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) has already said it would put in an offer for Alitalia provided it was flanked by one or more industrial partners. The FS board was meeting on the matter on Wednesday.

Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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