Belfast Telegraph

EasyJet expresses interest in bankrupt Alitalia

EasyJet said that it had submitted a “revised expression of interest” for a restructured Alitalia.

Budget airline easyJet has again signalled its interest in bankrupt Italian carrier Alitalia as part of a consortium that also includes Air France and US private equity firm Cerberus.

In a stock market announcement late on Tuesday, easyJet said that it had submitted a “revised expression of interest” for a restructured Alitalia.

“EasyJet has today submitted a revised expression of interest for a restructured Alitalia, together as part of a consortium, consistent with EasyJet’s existing strategy for Italy.

“Given the nature of the process, the content of the expression of interest is subject to confidentiality.

“There is no certainty at this stage that any transaction will proceed and easyJet will provide a further update in due course if and when appropriate,” the group added.

EasyJet had already in October submitted an offer to buy parts of Alitalia, but the Italian government put the deadline for bids on hold until after the country’s general election, which took place in March.

The government also made loans available to Alitalia to keep it flying in the interim.

EasyJet has recently appointed a new chief executive, Johan Lundgren, who took over the top job from Dame Caroyln McCall in December.

As well as the Alitalia bid, Mr Lundgren will also have to juggle Brexit risks.

The pound’s collapse since the referendum has meant less people travelling overseas and, more starkly, British airlines are at risk of being grounded unless Tory ministers strike an aviation deal with the EU.

To mitigate the impact, easyJet has applied for a new air operator’s certificate (AOC) in Austria to allow it to continue flying in the European Union after Britain’s divorce from the bloc.

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