February 20, 2019 / 3:11 PM / 7 months ago

Alitalia will not be nationalized, needs market solution: economy minister

FILE PHOTO: An Alitalia airplane is seen before take off from the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said on Wednesday that Alitalia, which is under special administration, will not be nationalized, adding that the government wants a market solution to keep the airline operating.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio told unions last week that the economy ministry and state-controlled rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) could between them take a more than 50 percent stake in the struggling air carrier.

“There are no plans to re-nationalize Alitalia,” Tria said in the lower house of parliament during question time. “There can only be a market solution,” he added.

The state could take a share in the airline as long as FS comes up with a market solution first, Tria said.

Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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