According to Italian newswire Ansa and Bloomberg, it appears that Delta has made a bid for Alitalia. The bankrupt Skyteam and transatlantic partner is being sold by the government after it was forced into liquidation last year when former 49% shareholder Etihad ended funding for the carrier.
Bids were also placed by easyJet and Italian state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato. Noticeably absent were Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Air France-KLM who had previously expressed interest. Lufthansa CEO noted that “Alitalia would need to be significantly restructured” for his carrier to renew its interest.
Bloomberg notes that the bids raise prospects of a shared interest in the carrier, with perhaps easyJet managing the short-haul operations while Delta takes on the long-haul portion of the business.
Alitalia continues to operate on a 900 million-euro bridge loan that expires this December. The carrier participates in the biggest trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines.