ITA Airways looking for an "equity partnership" – chairman

FILE PHOTO: ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with the image of the new livery for the carrier’s jets, in Italy, October 15, 2021. ITA Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

MILAN (Reuters) -Alitalia’s successor ITA Airways is looking for a partnership with a rival ready to invest money in the Italian carrier, Chairman Alfredo Altavilla said on Wednesday.

The state-owned carrier is too small to survive alone and has already started informal talks with some potential partners, both in Europe and overseas, Altavilla told during a parliamentary hearing.

“We don’t need code sharing or a commercial joint venture. If you put money on the table you play, if you don’t put money on the table, you can avoid asking for access to the data room,” he said. “We are looking for an equity partnership.”

The state-owned carrier could clinch a partnership by the end of June 2022, he said.

ITA Airways reported revenues of 86 million euros ($98.14 million) in the period Oct. 15-Dec. 31, well below estimates given in its business plan, he said.

But the airline started 2022 with higher-than-expected 400 million euros in cash, helped by cost cuts, fewer employees and some suspended flights given the persisting coronavirus crisis, the chairman added.

($1 = 0.8763 euros)

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