The Italian government is considering involving national railway company Ferrovie dello Stato and public investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti in plans to keep the bankrupt Alitalia in Italian hands, local media has reported.

Squeezed by fast-growing LCCs, Italy’s flag carrier Alitalia filed for bankruptcy in May 2017, kicking off a long process of finding a suitable investor to take on the troubled carrier that has been further delayed by the months the country spent without a government after an inconclusive general election in March.

Italy’s new transport and infrastructure minister Danilo Toninelli dismissed Ferrovie dello Stato’s board in July, saying his party wanted to ensure a break with the past.

He also added to uncertainty over Alitalia’s future when he said in July that he wanted 51% of the airline to remain in Italian hands, alongside a strong investor, but later said he did not mean the airline should be nationalized.

The possibility of renationalizing Alitalia had been ruled out before Italy’s coalition government came to power in June.

Toninelli also said there should be important announcements in September or October. 

Lufthansa, UK LCC easyJet, Wizz Air and Cerberus Capital Management had been among those interested in all or part the airline but Reuters reported on Aug. 3 that the commissioners charged with finding a buyer for Alitalia had issued a report stating that none of the offers submitted was appropriate.

Helen Massy-Beresford, helen.massy-beresford@aviationweek.co.uk