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Alitalia, Patuanelli-EU meeting (2): "Company will be sold in two parts"

May 31 deadline for the fate of the carrier

A tunnel of light begins to appear for the carrier Alitalia. After the meeting that took place yesterday in Brussels between the Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli with the EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, (see AVIONEWS), there would be good prospects for shelving the EU condemnation for State aid regarding the bridge-loans of EUR 600 and 300 million granted by the Government to the carrier. In January, the Government paid another EUR 400 million, but Patuanelli guaranteed Vestager that no more public money would be paid to the company. The head of the ministry presented a draft of the new airline sales notice, indicating that the deadline of 31 May will be respected. Patuanelli said the former flag carrier will be sold by dividing ground services from flight services.

Vestager has agreed to wait for the deadline of May 31, but plans to open a second State aid procedure on the third bridge loan, which could lead to the repayment sentence of around one billion three hundred millions. Waiting for May will allow the losses on extraordinary administration to be discharged. "If the Commission declares the loans to Alitalia illegal", Patuanelli said, "thanks to the economic discontinuity that we will give with the sale of the business units, they will remain borne by the old air company without affecting the new carrier".

It will no longer be possible to carry out other postponements: a further slip could mark the end of the airline.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency