A deadline for would-be investors in Alitalia to present their business plan for the relaunch of the bankrupt Italian flag carrier has been pushed back once again, this time to Oct. 15, a union source confirmed to ATW.

“The economic development ministry has announced another delay, to Oct. 15,” the union source said, adding that the postponement will allow more time for rescue partners to reach an agreement on the group’s industrial strategy. 

Italian railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), infrastructure group Atlantia and US carrier Delta Air Lines had been scheduled to present their plans by Sept. 15, but the deadline has once again been pushed back in the latest delay of a long-running process that has been affected by political upheaval in Italy. 

In the latest twist, a new economic development minister, Stefano Patuanelli, is now responsible for overseeing the Alitalia situation after the previous government coalition collapsed and a new alliance between the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party took over. 

The Italian state is set to play a role in the relaunch of Alitalia, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2017, hurt by tough competition from low-cost carriers, high-speed trains and rising costs. Italy wants to use the relaunched Alitalia as the cornerstone of a multimodal transport strategy that will also boost Italian tourism. 

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