Easyjet has U-turned on its involvement in a proposed alliance to rescue troubled airline Alitalia.
The carrier had been in talks with Italy’s state-run railway Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Delta Air Lines about forming a consortium to bid for a restructured Alitalia, which went into administration in May 2017 but has continued operations with loans from the government.
The Italian government has been seeking a buyer since then, with bids reportedly coming from Easyjet on its own, Lufthansa and Ryanair.
However, Easyjet announced to its shareholders today that it has “taken the decision to withdraw from the process”, though it has not explained the reason.
The airline says it is still “committed” to Italy, which it views as a key market. It currently carries 18.5 million passengers to and from Italy every year and employs 1,400 pilots and crew.
“We continue to invest in the three bases in Milan, Naples [and] Venice, as we have done, by basing additional aircraft in Venic and Naples last summer.
In a statement, Delta said it remains in talks with Ferrovie.
The Italian government has given the companies until the end of March to come up with a rescue plan for Alitalia.