Italy’s state-owned railway company Feorrovie dello Stato (FS) is looking to delay the implementation of a rescue plan for the ailing national carrier Alitalia.

The deadline for FS to submit its proposal was 29 April. but the company was later granted a one-month extension. The European Commission objects to further delays as Italy’s national carrier has been under special administration since 2017.

Alitalia’s unions and administrators have failed to come to an agreement with low-cost carriers interested in rescuing the company, including EasyJet and Ryanair. Other than the FS proposal, there is currently no alternative for the future of Italy’s national carrier. If that fails, the company is in danger of being liquidated.

For its part, the Italian government is encouraging the FS takeover, which would encourage transport synergies and avoid layoffs.

The plan entails an alliance with Alitalia’s strategic ally, Delta Airlines, to give rise to a transport consortium that would offer a so-called “one stop shop” choice of travel both domestically and internationally. However, the plan has a funding gap of €400 million from the estimated €1 billion total cost, while EU regulation does not allow the state to step in and invest in the venture.

The Italian press has talked about interest by the transport group Atlantia to join the consortium, although there is no official proposal submitted.