Etihad Airways and Alitalia have been in talks about Etihad’s investment in the Italian airline and are now close to making an agreement.
The airlines are in the “final phases” of talks which may still take up to 30 days to complete. Neither airline have disclosed the percentage but rumours have been flying around of Etihad taking up to 40%.
Alitalia flies about 25 million passengers a year but has debts of about 800m euros (£656m) and Etihad could bring a welcome injection of money. The airline has had to be bailed out by the country’s government, however it employs about 14,000 staff.
Etihad already has stakes in Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, and Virgin Australia.