Etihad get closer in their bid to buy Alitalia stake

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A spokesman for the Italian government has given the deadline of the 8th August, for failing airline Alitalia to reach a deal with UAE airline Etihad.

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.

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