Rivals Lufthansa and Easyjet have placed bids to buy parts of troubled airline Alitalia.

Both carriers are also in the process of purchasing parts of Air Berlin, with Lufthansa having already signed an agreement to take over a significant percentage of the airline’s fleet.

Lufthansa said its Alitalia offer puts forward plans to establish a “New Alitalia”, but confirmed it has not offered to buy the whole airline. Instead, it is only interested in taking over parts of the global network traffic and European and domestic point-to-point business.

Easyjet similarly said it’s only interested in parts of Alitalia, but gave no further details.

The Italian government has postponed the deadline for making a decision on the sale from November 4 to April 2018. It has also announced a further €300 million loan in order to keep the airline flying until the sale is finalised. The extra money follows a previous €600 million in funding, repayment for which the government has extended the deadline to September 30 2018.

Alitalia filed for administration in May this year after staff rejected pay and job cuts, which the airline had proposed as action to save its failing business. The Italian government was initially quick to seek a purchase agreement for the carrier, but proceedings have been pushed back several times. 

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