Etihad Airways and Ryanair are among the airlines to have submitted a bid for struggling Italian carrier Alitalia.

Special commissioners who have been overseeing the administration of Alitalia since May, officially closed the process for formal non-binding bids on Friday (July 21).

Although the commissioners have not disclosed the names of the parties who have submitted offers for Alitalia, Ryanair today confirmed that it is one of the bidders.

Reports in Italy also claimed that Etihad, which already owns 49 per cent of Alitalia, had offered to buy the entire company.

Ryanair’s chief financial officer Neil Sorahan told Reuters: “We put a non-binding bid in. I can’t say much more other than we think it is right to be involved in the process.”

Alitalia’s commissioners will this week outline their plans and the next steps in the sales process to Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development for approval.

Italy’s government has ruled out nationalising Alitalia although it has provided short-term financing to allow the airline to continue operating services as normal.