Alitalia expected to approve Etihad tie-up

June 7, 2014 11:54 am

Italian troubled carrier, Alitalia is expected to give an initial green light to a tie-up with Etihad Airways at a board meeting on Friday in a last-ditch attempt to save a carrier that many in the industry have regarded as a lost cause, Reuters has reported, citing a Gulf source familiar with the matter. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which already has stakes in Air Berlin and Aer Lingus, is looking to invest more than €500m ($682m) in exchange for a 49% stake in Alitalia to gain more clout in Europe, the report said. “Alitalia’s board will agree, the Italian government will agree because they need the money badly,” the source said. Another senior Gulf official and a senior source close to Alitalia said the deal was pretty much done.