Atlantia chosen to help relaunch Italy’s Alitalia airline

International

FILE – In this Sunday, July 5, 2015 file photo, an Alitalia plane takes off from Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci international airport. The Italian government is hoping the Alitalia airline will turn a new page after four private investors expressed an interest in joining the state railway, the Italian treasury and Delta Air Lines in trying once again to relaunch the struggling flagship carrier. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca, File)

ROME (AP) — The Italian state railway running Alitalia has chosen the Atlantia group of the Benetton empire as the key partner to work with the railway, the Italian treasury and Delta Air Lines in trying once again to relaunch the struggling flagship carrier.

Ferrovie dello Stato said its board met Monday and settled on Atlantia after three other offers arrived.

Alitalia declared bankruptcy two years ago and has long suffered from competition from low-cost carriers, unable to establish itself as a player in lucrative, long-haul aviation routes.

Atlantia is the controlling company of Autostrade per l’Italia, which operates highways and the Genoa bridge that collapsed last year, killing 43 people.

Atlantia’s board was under pressure to agree to help save the loss-making Alitalia, given that poor bridge maintenance has been blamed for the Genoa tragedy.

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