ALBERTO PIZZOLI | AFP | Getty Images
A picture taken on March 15, 2017 shows an Alitalia – Etihad plane on the runway of the airport of Brindisi.
German airline Lufthansa has offered 500 million euros ($590 million) to acquire the planes, airport runway slots and air crew of Italy’s ailing national carrier Alitalia, the newspaper Corriere della Sera said on Monday.
Citing three anonymous sources, the paper said Lufthansa has also proposed halving Alitalia’s workforce of 12,000 employees and reducing its short- and medium-range flights.
The paper said the offer was likely to be rejected by the state commissioners who are managing the carrier while it is being sold. Lufthansa declined to comment on the report.
The deadline for suitors to submit binding bids for Alitalia is 1700 GMT on Monday. However, on Friday Italy’s government extended to April 30 a deadline to improve the bids which had previously been set for Nov. 5.
Rome wants to sell the whole of Alitalia in one package and avoid a split of its aviation and ground service activities.
On Friday the government also passed an emergency decree to add a further 300 million euros to the loan of 600 million euros it made to the loss-making carrier in May.
It also extended the deadline for the repayment of the loan, which was due in November this year, to Sept. 30, 2018.