The Business Times

Etihad hardens position on Alitalia deal: sources

Gulf airline said to be seeking 2,000 job cuts at Alitalia; talks on investment stall

Published Sun, Apr 20, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[ROME] Etihad Airways has toughened its stance on conditions for investing in Italy's struggling Alitalia in continuing negotiations between the airlines, sources close to the matter said.

Loss-making Alitalia was kept running by a government-engineered 500 million euro (S$865.3 million) rescue package last year, but it needs to find a cash-rich partner quickly to revamp its flight network or risk having to ground its fleet.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad has been looking at Alitalia's books for a possible investment since the start of the year. However, the prospect of large job cuts at Alitalia and the airline's debt of at least 800 million euros have been major hurdles in the talks.

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