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Italy, EU agree to conditions for relaunch of struggling Alitalia

May 28, 2021

Rome (Italy), May 28: Italy and the European Union (EU) have agreed to conditions for the relaunch of Italian national air carrier Alitalia, according to a statement released Thursday.
The agreement came after the conclusion of a virtual meeting held Wednesday between European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager and two Italian ministers -- Minister of Economy and Finance Daniele Franco and Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti.
"Following intense and constructive discussions at all levels, the EU Commission and the Italian authorities have reached a common understanding on the key parameters to guarantee economic discontinuity" between Alitalia and ITA, the company set to take Alitalia's place, the joint statement said.
"The Commission supports Italy's efforts to prepare as soon as possible the launch of ITA as a new and vital market player in line with EU regulations," and in view of finalizing the agreement, contacts between Brussels and Rome "will now continue at full speed at a technical level."
According to the terms of the new agreement, ITA -- the name for "Italia Trasporto Aereo" (Italian Air Transport) -- will start operations with around 60 aircraft and 5,000 employees, down from 92 and around 11,000 for Alitalia.
Some of Alitalia's assets, including the company's brand and maintenance capacity, will be sold separately with ITA expected to participate in the bidding. That tender is part of the conditions set by Vestager's office to ensure that the new company would not have an unfair competitive advantage.
The relaunch plan is part of an effort to end years of struggle for the highly-indebted Alitalia. The Italian government has said it wants to have ITA operational quickly enough for the high tourist season over the summer.
Source: Xinhua