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Hundreds of travellers have been left stranded after an Italian airline suspended operations.

Sicily-based Wind Jet was forced to ground flights during the peak period for travel after takeover talks with Alitalia – Italy’s national airline – failed.

The low-cost carrier, which has a fleet of 12 Airbus aircraft and was Italy’s fourth largest airline, had been suffering from financial difficulties.

According to reports, hundreds of Israeli travellers due to fly to Tel Aviv were forced to spend Saturday night at Rome Fiumicino airport, while as many as 300,000 passengers across Italy with existing bookings may be affected.

Aviation authorities in Italy said a deal has been reached with other airlines to take on passengers who pay an additional fee.

The airline flew from Italy to Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Moscow, St Petersburg and Bucharest, but did not operate flights to or from the UK, so few British travellers are likely to be affected.