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Old June 20th, 2007, 06:33 AM   #141
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TPG was the only good bidder. The fact that they retired from the bid shows what are Alitalia's odds to survive in the future...
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:09 AM   #142
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Is Alitalia going to turn into Italy's Swiss Air? Eventually having to be broken as an independent airline and returning to life of a subsidiary of a larger European carrier (i.e., Swissair now being a subsidiary of Lufthansa)?

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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #143
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It's too early to say... what is probably gonna happen though now is that nobody will buy Alitalia because the government wants too much money and the company has too much debt and half the fleet is very old
This can lead to only two things:

1) a new bid with less restriction and a lower price for Alitalia

2) the Italian government keeps the company and refunds it like it has been doing for the last 20 years This is illegal because of EU restrictions but it's Italy and it wouldn't be the first time something like this happens...
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odisseo View Post

1) a new bid with less restriction

I meant a new auction...
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 04:50 AM   #145
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byebye TPG ?
byebye Alitalia...
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 07:05 AM   #146
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Italian Treasury extends Alitalia bid deadline to July 12
21 June 2007

ROME (AP) - The Italian government announced Thursday that it has extended by 10 days the deadline for final bids to acquire a controlling stake in Alitalia, exposing a difficult bidding period for the struggling airline.

The government, which is seeking a private investor to buy at least a 39.9 percent stake in Alitalia but is prepared to sell its entire 49.9 percent stake, set a new deadline of July 12.

It did not give a reason in the statement.

Bidding has been beset by concern over a lack of data and shifting guidelines and confused by exits and entries.

The U.S. asset management group Matlin Patterson Global Advisors LLC rejoined the bidding process this week, after a consortium it belonged to dropped out, saying it could not comply with all of the requirements. Meanwhile, Russian media reports have suggested that another bidder, the Russian airline Aeroflot, had pulled out because the asking price was too high.

Officially, three bidders remain: Matlin Patterson; AP Holding SpA, the parent company of Italy's second-largest carrier Air One, backed by Intesa Sanpaolo SpA; and OAO Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, backed by Italian bank UniCredit SpA.

The Economics Ministry said in a statement that other conditions remain unchanged. Under the latest terms, bidders must guarantee that Alitalia retains an Italian identity for at least eight years.

Alitalia's efforts to turn itself around have been hampered by repeated strikes, high fuel costs and competition from low-cost carriers. Earlier this month, the airline reported a first-quarter net loss of 135 million euros ($180 million), compared with a loss of 159 million euros in the same period last year.

Alitalia shares rose nearly 3.3 percent to 0.85 euros ($1.14) Thursday in Milan.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #147
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Italy doubtful on Alitalia bidder, has no 'Plan B'

ROME, July 4 (Reuters) - Rome is sceptical over the interest of one of the two bidders left in the auction of Alitalia but is not looking at alternative plans to salvage the airline, Italy's transport minister said on Wednesday.

His comments come as the withdrawal of various potential suitors, most recently Russian airline Aeroflot, leaves Alitalia's auction on the verge of collapse and speculation grows about what Rome might do should the tender fail.

"We are not in the least thinking of alternative options," Alessandro Bianchi, Italy's transport minister, told reporters. "We are focused on 'Plan A'".

But he said he was sceptical on the commitment of U.S. buyout fund MatlinPatterson, which re-entered the auction last month though few see it as a real contender to buy the airline.

"They don't seem to have given big signs of life (in the auction,)" Bianchi said.

Italian media have speculated that the buyout fund would eventually follow Russian carrier Aeroflot's footsteps and depart from the auction, and that it was unlikely to make a binding offer for the airline.

Binding offers are due on July 12.

With just small Italian carrier Air One left in apart from MatlinPatterson, Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Wednesday reported that Rome was studying alternatives should the auction collapse.

The government could shut down Alitalia or reopen talks with the airline's long-time partner Air France , which has repeatedly said it has no interest in bidding unless Alitalia turns itself around, the newspaper reported.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 05:06 AM   #148
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Italian Treasury extends Alitalia bid deadline for 2nd time, to July 23
6 July 2007

ROME (AP) - The Italian government announced Friday it has extended to July 23 the deadline for final bids to acquire a controlling stake in Alitalia, the second such delay in the difficult bidding process for the struggling airline.

The deadline, previously set for July 12, was extended so that bidders can review new information concerning Alitalia, the Economics Ministry said in a statement.

The government, which is seeking a private investor to buy at least a 39.9 percent stake in Alitalia but is prepared to sell its entire 49.9 percent stake, last month approved an extension of the deadline originally set for July 2.

The bidding process, beset by concerns about a lack of data and shifting guidelines, has been confused by exits and entries.

Last week, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot withdrew from the bidding, saying it had not been provided with critical information.

Previously, the U.S. asset management group Matlin Patterson Global Advisors LLC rejoined the process after a consortium to which it had belonged dropped out, saying it could not comply with all the requirements. The only other official bidder remaining is AP Holding SpA, the parent company of Italy's second-largest carrier Air One, backed by Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo SpA.

In a statement, the Economics Ministry said that other conditions for the final bids remain unchanged. Under the latest terms, bidders must guarantee that Alitalia retains an Italian identity for at least eight years.

Alitalia's efforts to turn itself around have been hurt by repeated strikes, high fuel costs and competition from low-cost carriers. In June, the airline reported a first-quarter net loss of euro135 million (US$180 million), compared with a loss of euro159 million in the same period last year.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 07:02 AM   #149
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I'd hate to see Alitalia go. It's one of the best airlines of been on. Well I'm judging from one round trip flight from Rome to Catania but I loved every minute of each leg. The staff was very friendly to me.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:06 AM   #150
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Last bidder in Alitalia race drops out, Italian government calls off auction
18 July 2007

ROME (AP) - The auction for the sale of Alitalia was called off Wednesday after the last official bidder dropped out of the race for the struggling national carrier, the Italian Economics Ministry said.

U.S. asset management group Matlin Patterson Global Advisers LLC will not present a binding offer by Monday's deadline, the ministry said in a statement declaring the sale process closed.

The statement came a day after the front-runner in the race, Italy's second largest airline, Air One, dropped out saying the government's conditions for the sale would not allow it to carry out its turnaround plan for Alitalia.

Few had expected the U.S. company to make a final bid, and the ministry said it had not yet decided what to do with its 49.9 percent stake in the loss-making airline.

"Any further decisions on the stake held in Alitalia will be communicated to the market, as soon as they are made," the statement said.

As Premier Romano Prodi's Cabinet faced the embarrassing collapse of its bid to privatize Alitalia, the transport minister suggested earlier Wednesday that the government might look to have private talks with interested parties.

But Alitalia faced more trouble during the day, with a daylong strike by its flight attendants and its shares closing down 3.53 percent at euro0.775 (US$1.07) on the Milan stock exchange.

"We are already reflecting on what do in the future. There are various options on the table," Prodi said, speaking during a visit to Bratislava, Slovakia. He did not elaborate.

Alitalia later said in a statement it had called a board meeting for Friday to take "appropriate actions" in light of the latest development. The statement gave no specifics.

The withdrawal from the race Tuesday by AP Holding, Air One's parent company, virtually ended the sale process as the Italian airline had been widely seen as the next Alitalia owner. It left Prodi's government with the difficult job of keeping Alitalia flying as it loses about euro2 million (US$2.75 million) a day.

The government has come under criticism amid accusations that conditions it set for the sale were too restrictive. The conservative opposition called on the Cabinet to discuss its plans in parliament.

"It would seem peculiar to launch a new race. I see the road of negotiations with those who might show or have shown an interest as an easier way," Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi said. He added, however, that nothing had been decided yet.

AP Holding has said that it would be prepared to reconsider the possibility of a move for Alitalia should terms and conditions be changed.

The government is seeking a private investor to buy at least a 39.9 percent stake in Alitalia, but is prepared to sell its entire share. But the process has been beset by concerns about a lack of data and shifting guidelines and confused by exits and entries.

Matlin Patterson had rejoined the bidding after a consortium it belonged to with U.S. private equity company Texas Pacific Group and Mediobanca dropped out in May.

After TPG's exit, Russian carrier OAO Aeroflot Russian Airlines also withdrew from the race.

TPG pulled out on the grounds that the sale process rules were too complex and did not give it sufficient flexibility, while Aeroflot said it had not "had access to critical information" to enable it to put forward a business proposal. In recent weeks, the Treasury had sought to encourage TPG to come back into the auction, but the private equity company did not change its position.

Under the terms of the competition, the buyer would have to shoulder Alitalia's debt, which totaled more than euro1 billion (US$1.3 billion) as of December, and bidders must guarantee that Alitalia retains an Italian identity for at least eight years.

Alitalia's efforts to turn itself around have been hurt by repeated strikes, high fuel costs and competition from low-cost carriers. The latest strike by flight attendants -- accompanied by a wider protest of air travel workers -- was expected to snarl air travel.

Unions said that more than 150 flights were canceled as a result of the protest, while Alitalia declined to give a figure while the strike was still ongoing.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 05:38 PM   #151
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Back to the drawing board....
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Old July 29th, 2007, 07:15 AM   #152
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Italy decision on Alitalia sale days away

ROME, July 27 (Reuters) - Rome will announce in a few days its next move on Alitalia, the transport minister said on Friday, as the Italian government came under growing pressure to find a quick solution to salvage the money-losing airline.

Rome has been dithering on its dwindling options to salvage Alitalia after its seven-month auction collapsed last week under a barrage of criticism from unions and the opposition.

Economy Minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa on Thursday said Rome was still debating whether to launch a new auction from scratch with fewer terms or begin private talks with suitors -- immediately drawing attacks from opposition lawmakers for dragging his feet on the matter.

Padoa-Schioppa distributed a document repeating his comments from Thursday to a cabinet meeting, ministers said, but they did not get around to discussing the issue.

Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi soon after said the government's next step on Alitalia -- worth around 1 billion euros but with a suggested price tag from one minister of a token 1 euro -- was only a matter of days away.

Rome is still pondering whether the company's management, Treasury officials or an investment bank should manage the next phase of the sale process, a government source told Reuters.

If Rome entrusts the next step to Alitalia's management, then that could herald the naming of a new chief executive to steer the company during the sale, the source said.

The airline, which is working on a new industrial plan to guide it in coming months, is run by Chairman Berardino Libonati at present.

Alitalia shares closed up nearly 4 percent on Friday.
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Old July 29th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #153
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Lufthansa would look at Alitalia if conditions change

FRANKFURT, July 26 (Reuters) - Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa would look at Alitalia if the conditions of the sale of the Italian carrier changed dramatically, finance chief Stephan Gemkow told reporters on Thursday.

"Anything can happen (in the sale process), so I can't make a commitment at all. In the process so far, the conditions and requirements were not suitable for a participation by Lufthansa," Gemkow said.

"If the conditions there change in some dramatic fashion, then of course we will look at it. But that is really pure speculation at this point in time."

Any takeover bid would need political goodwill as well as a signal that risks such as the influence of the unions in Italy could be overcome, he added.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 05:45 AM   #154
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It seems like Lufthansa owns alot of Italy. They've already got Air One and Air Dolomiti.

I just got my MilleMiglia card in the mail last week so hopefully I'll be able to use it for many years to come. I wonder how many Texans have a MilleMiglia card.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 12:59 AM   #155
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Some European newspapers say than British Airways wants to buy Alitalia...
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 03:37 PM   #156
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Alitalia names new chairman, postpones approval of new business plan
1 August 2007

ROME (AP) - Alitalia replaced its chairman Wednesday after his resignation a day earlier, but it postponed a new and long-awaited business plan for the troubled airline.

Maurizio Prato, a former senior executive at state-controlled aerospace and defense company Finmeccanica SpA, replaces Berardino Libonati, who stepped down after less than six months on the job.

Alitalia shares fell more than 7 percent Wednesday following Libonati's resignation, which followed a failure by the Italian government to auction off the nation's flagship carrier.

Alitalia has been without a chief executive since Libonati took over in February from Chairman and CEO Giancarlo Cimoli.

Libonati, a former telecom executive, accepted the post in view of the possible sale of the airline, but after the collapse of the seven-month auction process he said "managerial abilities and a knowledge of the sector" were now needed for the job, Alitalia said in a statement late Tuesday.

Prato's appointment had been expected. The Economics Ministry, Alitalia's main shareholder, said Tuesday that it would back him as the new chairman and that it hoped Prato would quickly find a buyer.

Alitalia said it has delayed approval of the business plan until Aug. 30 to give Prato time to look at the carrier's strategic options. The board had already postponed the decision in a meeting last month.

The Italian government is seeking a private investor to buy at least a 39.9 percent stake in Alitalia, but is prepared to sell its entire 49.9 percent stake. Shares in Alitalia closed down 7.43 percent at 0.82 euros ($1.12) on the Milan stock exchange following Wednesday's board meeting.

The government was forced to call off the auction on July 18 after all bidders had dropped out, with many citing restrictive conditions and shifting guidelines. The bidders included Air One, Italy's second-most traveled carrier; Texas Pacific Group Inc., the private equity house, and Russia's OAO Aeroflot Russian Airlines.

Hurt by frequent strikes and competition from low-cost carriers, Alitalia loses between $1.4 million and $2.8 million a day.
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #157
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New Italian-led group says wants to buy Alitalia

ROME, Aug 10 (Reuters) - A largely Italian consortium of financiers and entrepreneurs has expressed interest in buying ailing Italian airline Alitalia , which is struggling to find a buyer, the group's lawyer said on Friday.

The previously unknown group joins a handful of companies who say they could consider buying the loss-making airline, though the Italian government's attempt to sell it through an auction failed last month when all bidders pulled out.

Rome, which has a 49.9 percent stake in the airline, says it still wants to shed the stake but has handed responsibility for finding a buyer to Alitalia's management -- and it is unclear who, if anyone, is in the lead to buy it this time around.

The new group has more than five Italian and foreign members that represent both financial and corporate interests, said its lawyer Antonio Baldassarre, a former chairman of Italy's constitutional court.

He declined to identify the members, but said none of them had participated in the auction that collapsed.

"Financing is not a problem," Baldassarre said, adding that banks had stakes in the group's financial participants.

But the group's emergence on the scene failed to prevent shares in Alitalia, worth about $1.5 billion on the market, from dipping 0.7 percent amid a broadly lower market.

The group has presented its interest to the Italian Treasury, but has yet to do so directly with the airline, he said.

It does not plan to cut jobs and would keep Alitalia's management Italian and widen its flight network, he said. That contrasts with the view of most industry analysts and experts, who say Alitalia needs a sharp restructuring with layoffs if it is to become profitable again.

AUCTION CALLED OFF

Italy last month called off its seven-month auction of the national airline after bidders pulled out citing restrictive conditions imposed on the sale, throwing the future of the airline into doubt.

Alitalia's newly appointed chairman Maurizio Prato is expected to meet representatives of rival airlines like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM in coming days to discuss whether they are interested in buying the airline, Italian media say.

Air France-KLM, once considered the Italian carrier's most likely buyer, has repeatedly denied any interest in rescuing it now but on Thursday said it would listen if approached.

Lufthansa said last month it would be prepared to look at Alitalia if the conditions of a sale changed.

All the final contenders in the failed auction -- Russian airline Aeroflot, U.S. private equity firms MatlinPatterson and TPG and smaller Italian carrier Air One -- say they would be interested again if Italy relaxed the terms of the sale.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 05:03 AM   #158
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Alitalia privatisation attracts new interest

ROME, Aug 21, 2007 (AFP) - A group of investors led by Italy's former constitutional court president Antonio Baldassarre is interested in acquiring Alitalia which has been put up for privatisation, the airline said Tuesday.

Baldassarre called the airline on behalf of the group to express an interest, Alitalia said, adding that Italian stock exchange rules required it to publish a statement.

The group had asked for a meeting with Alitalia management which was to take place in late August or early September, it said.

Baldassarre, a lawyer, is also a former president of Italian broadcaster RAI. He declined on Tuesday to identify the investors he represents.

An earlier attempt at privatising Alitalia came to nothing last month when Italian airline Air One, owned by businessman Carlo Toto, announced it would not bid for the state's 49.9-percent stake in the carrier.

Alitalia has been in financial trouble for several years, posting a net loss of 626 million euros (863 million dollars) in 2006. It had a first-quarter loss this year of 135 million euros.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 05:42 PM   #159
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Friday August 24, 9:31 PM
TPG still interested in Alitalia: source

ROME (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm TPG is still interested in bidding for loss-making airline Alitalia and is waiting to see what conditions management would put on the sale, a source close to TPG said on Friday.

The source, denying a newspaper report, also said TPG's interest in Alitalia was "not incompatible" with its interest in acquiring Spanish airline Iberia .

TPG is leading a group of potential Iberia bidders, which also include British Airways and some Spanish firms.

Italy's government in July had to call off its seven-month auction for Alitalia -- worth about 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) -- after all bidders pulled out citing restrictive conditions.

The Italian state, which is trying to shed its 49.9 percent controlling stake, has since handed responsibility for finding a buyer to Alitalia's new management.

All of the final contenders in the failed auction -- including Russian airline Aeroflot , U.S. private equity firm MatlinPatterson and smaller Italian carrier Air One -- have said they could be interested again if Italy relaxed the terms of the sale.

Alitalia said this week it had been contacted by another group of investors which expressed an interest in the carrier.

TPG in the past has told the Italian government it wants the freedom to talk to Alitalia's strike-prone unions before making a binding offer, among other changes to the sale process, people familiar with the situation have said.

Alitalia shares were down 0.2 percent in late afternoon trading, compared with a 0.2 percent rise in the overall Milan market .
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 06:20 AM   #160
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Alitalia plan for Milan hub comes under fire

MILAN, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Politicians from all sides in Italy's northern industrial heartland have voiced fierce opposition to any cut in Alitalia's presence at Milan's Malpensa airport under its "survival" plan.

Calling the Malpensa retreat a "political attack" by Rome -- which had tried to sell the airline -- opposition party member and Lombardy Governor Roberto Formigoni said on Friday Italy's richest region could turn to the European Union to have the move blocked.

"The obstinacy of this decision confirms Alitalia's comatose state. It's the 15th industrial plan in seven years. The previous ones all failed," Formigoni said in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper.

Under the rescue plan approved by Alitalia's board late on Thursday, Alitalia will seek a cash infusion, slash unprofitable flights, cut jobs and scale back its reliance on the two hubs as part of its "survival" programme.

Local leaders have long feared Alitalia could abandon Malpensa, about 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Milan, as a hub in favour of Rome's Fiumicino as it struggles to stay alive.

They have long complained about what they claim is Rome's lumbering bureaucracy and bad management of public finances.

One member of the Northern League, which in the past has taken a secessionist stance, said slashing Malpensa's role was Rome-centric.

"The north is not going to pay a higher price yet again ... just for political choices which favour the capital," said Andrea Gibelli, adding it was a call to arms for Lombardy.

Milan's provincial chairman Filippo Penati, who is also a member of the Democrats of the Left, said cutting back on Malpensa would hit "the whole business and transport system of the north," which should not have to pay for "years of inefficiency at Alitalia".

Alitalia's plan said only that it would reorganise activities at Malpensa and increase its presence at its Rome hub and it was impossible to operate efficiently with two hubs.

An EU official said Alitalia's decision to move flights from one airport to another had nothing to do with EU rules.

Giuseppe Bonomi, chairman of SEA Aeroporti Milano which runs Malpensa and a former Alitalia chairman, said international carriers were ready to take Alitalia's place at Malpensa.

KEEP 'EM FLYING

The management aims to keep Alitalia flying while it hunts for a buyer for the 49.9 percent stake owned by the Italian Treasury. An auction for that stake collapsed in July.

The board is to meet again on Sept. 7 to give more details.

Alitalia said on Friday its short-term liquidity slid to 592 million euros at the end of July from 612 million euros at the end of June.

SEA said it hoped a new industrial partner "will guarantee as soon as possible a strategy rethink ... which follows market logic."

Milan Mayor Letizia Moratti, who like Formigoni is from the rightist opposition party Forza Italia, said the decision on Malpensa was "contrary to every logic of the market", given the steady rise in Alitalia passengers at the airport.

Shares in Alitalia ended down 1.3 percent at 0.836 euros.
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