EU greenlights Alitalia-Etihad deal - update 2

Etihad invested 560mn for 49% of Italian carrier

(ANSA) - Brussels, November 14 - The European Commission on Friday green-lit a merger between United Arab Emirates carrier Etihad and troubled Italian airline Alitalia. The merger is authorized as long as the companies agree to free up some slots in favor of new operators on the Rome-Belgrade route, sources said. Etihad earlier this year invested 560 million euros for a 49% stake in Alitalia, which earlier this month gave the nod to former Ferrari chief Luca Cordero de Montezemolo to be its next president, with Etihad CEO James Hogan as vice president.
    "The European Commission has OK'd Italy's Alitalia operation," said Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi.
    "We said more than once that Italy had respected EU norms and parameters (on competition) to the letter," he added.


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