Italy’s deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio said more private investors are making offers for Alitalia and would play a role in the bankrupt airline’s relaunch.

Di Maio, who is also economic development minister, wrote in an April 27 Facebook post that the government is putting all conditions in place for a successful relaunch of the Italian flag carrier. 

Those conditions include a significant state presence in the new company that would run the new Alitalia, direct input from the economic development ministry, and the participation of Italian state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato and US carrier Delta Air Lines, Di Maio said. He added that offers from other private entities coming in would make up 100% of the new company. 

Offers from others—currently not yet formalized—would then make up the rest of the new company, Di Maio said. 

“Whatever the industrial plan, it will need to be discussed and improved by representatives of those who work for Alitalia,” Di Maio said, adding: “Our aim is a real relaunch, not just a rescue.” 

Italian media also reported that the deadline for Ferrovie dello Stato to present an industrial plan had been pushed back into May from the previous, already extended, deadline of April 30.

The Italian economic development ministry did not respond to a request for comment. 

Alitalia filed for bankruptcy in May 2017 and the subsequent process of finding one or more investors to relaunch it has been a long and complicated one with the Italian government insisting on keeping at least part of the airline in Italian hands as part of a strategy to involve the revamped carrier in a broader plan to boost tourism in Italy.  

Alitalia was hurt by tough competition from low-cost carriers in its home market and declared bankruptcy after workers voted against a labor agreement that would have unlocked funding for a rescue plan.

Special administrators have been in charge of the airline since its bankruptcy and it has been able to keep flying, thanks to a €900 million ($1 billion) bridge loan that is due to be paid back at the end of June. The European Commission is investigating the loan.

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