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Italian airline Alitalia says it is considering buying a 49 percent stake in Air Malta.
Alitalia, which is controlled by Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways, signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday with the Maltese government to launch due diligence on a possible deal. Alitalia CEO Cramer Ball said any deal would not hurt Alitalia’s three-year re-launch, which includes the goal of returning to profit by 2017.
Malta tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis said Air Malta will cease talks with other airlines, and that financial details of a possible deal are still to be determined. No deadline has been set.
Loss-making Air Malta is in the last year of a five-year restructuring plan agreed with the European Commission in return for approval of 130 million euros in state aid.
This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.