British budget airline EasyJet has withdrawn its interest from a proposed takeover of Italian national flag carrier Alitalia on 18 March.
The Italian government is brokering a rescue plan led by the state-owned railway company Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and US carrier Delta Air Lines. The plan would potentially engage EasyJet, as neither the state nor the railway company can run Alitalia.
Negotiations with Delta continue, the government said in a statement. EasyJet was interested in taking over the management of Alitalia’s short-haul operations and its slots at primary airports in Rome but also Milan.
EasyJet said on 18 March it remains committed to Italy as a key market for the company, where it has three bases in Milan, Naples, and Venice. Last year, EasyJet transported 18.5 million passengers and employed 1,400 pilots and crew in Italy.
Alitalia went into administration in May 2017 after unions rejected a plan to cut wages and dismiss personnel.