After a board meeting last Friday, Italy’s Transport Minister, Maurizio Lupi said “A date has been fixed for signing the deal: August 8.”
The Italian government owns a 49% stake in the airline and is keen to sell its share to the Abu Dhabi-based airline, but talks have carried on for over 7 months. Mr Lupi added “We have received a response from Etihad. It is positive, but some things still need to be cleared up,”
Owning a large slice of Alitalia would allow Etihad to gain access to the fourth largest travel market in Europe, where it already owns stakes in Air Berlin and Aer Lingus.