Europe’s largest airline by passengers has said it would invest in struggling carrier Alitalia if it would receive a majority stake in return.
Etihad backed Alitalia entered administration in May after staff rejected a last minute restructuring deal that would have shed thousands of jobs but freed up enough cash for the airline to remain solvent.
Etihad has a 49 percent stake in the airline and is the largest individual investor in the carrier.
However Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told Journalists in Rome last week that the airline is only after a majority shareholding. “We aren’t interested in a 49 percent stake.”
This is the second time Ryanair has expressed its interest in Alitalia. The airline had first conveyed its sentiments in January when it said it would be keen on opening up long-haul destinations for its passengers if Alitalia was willing to cooperate with it.
According to the New York Times, the Italian government has received over 30 offers of consideration for Alitalia although all are for parts and assets of the airline and none for it as a whole. Non binding offers for the airline and its assets will continue to be accepted until July 21.