Lufthansa has ruled out buying Italian rival Alitalia, whose future is unclear after workers rejected a rescue plan this week.
“I have no comment on Alitalia… But we are not there to buy Alitalia,” Lufthansa chief financial officer Ulrik Svensson said on a call with analysts after the carrier reported first-quarter results.
Italian media has repeatedly speculated that Lufthansa could take over Alitalia, Reuters reported.
Budget rival Norwegian Air Shuttle also said on Thursday it was not interested in buying any Alitalia assets.
However, the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines told Reuters on Wednesday he would be interested in leasing aircraft from Alitalia if it was wound up.
The loss-making Italian flag carrier’s 12,000 workers dismissed a deal brokered by the Italian government two weeks ago to cut salaries and jobs in exchange for a new cash injection from private investors to save Alitalia.
Italian transport union official Antonio Amoroso told the Financial Times that “the Arabised Alitalia has failed,” referring to a 2014 agreement which made Etihad Airways a 49% shareholder in the carrier.
“We are asking the government to re-open talks to find a different solution;” he said.
A shareholder meeting was due to be held yesterday which could signal the airline going into administration, meaning that it will either be wound down or sold.
If Alitalia is placed into administration, it will be run by a commissioner with broad powers to operate the company and decide its fate, according to the Financial Times.
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