Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Sunday confirmed it will forward a letter detailing the conditions precedent and the criteria for a proposed equity investment that have been negotiated with Italian flagship carrier Alitalia and its stakeholders over the past months.
A joint statement published on Alitalia's website said that"Upon confirmation by the board of Alitalia and its stakeholders of their acceptance of these terms, the airlines will proceed to final documentation in order to complete the proposed transaction, in line with Europan Union (EU) and other regulatory requirements."
"We are delighted to move forward with Etihad Airways providing Alitalia with an ideal strategic partner enhancing the company's long term growth perspectives," President of Alitalia Roberto Colaninno was quoted as saying by the statement.
President and CEO of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said his company was "delighted to be able to move forward with this process and look forward to the successful conclusion of the proposed transaction with Alitalia," according to the statement.
Representatives of the Italian government said they were appreciating the "strategic importance" of this transaction and looking favorably at the Etihad Airways - Alitalia partnership.
"Today is an important day for Alitalia, I would say decisive for our national flagship carrier and for the entire Italian air transport," Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi was quoted as saying by ANSA news agency.
Lupi said in an interview with Rai state television that Etihad Airways was ready to invest around 600 million euros (818 million U.S. dollars) in the operation. The important business plan, the minister added, will "relaunch Italy's airport system, hence Fiumicino (Rome's international airport), Malpensa (Milan's international airport).