Alitalia and Etihad Airways receive European Commission approval for Etihad to save the Italian airline

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) and Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi) has received permission from the European Commission to permit Etihad to acquire a 49 percent share in the Italian carrier for €387.5 million and also implement their strategic partnership. Finally Alitalia has found its savior.

Alitalia and Etihad Airways jointly issued issued this statement:

Alitalia and Etihad Airways are pleased to confirm that they have received merger clearance from the European Commission under EU Regulation No. 139/2004. They can therefore proceed with the proposed strategic partnership announced in August.

Following the completion of its review, the European Commission on Friday (November 14) confirmed that the partnership complies with the European regulations on competition. In line with previous cases, the airlines undertook commitments aimed at facilitating the entry of new airlines on the Rome to Belgrade route.

The parties continue to work together with a view to completing the transaction before the end of the year.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said: “We are delighted to be able to move forward with this process and look forward to a positive outcome and the final conclusion of a our transaction with Alitalia.

“An equity investment in Alitalia will be beneficial not only for the both airlines, but, more importantly, it will give more choice and broader travel opportunities to business and leisure travellers into and out of Italy.”

Gabriele del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said: “This is an excellent outcome for Alitalia. This investment will provide financial stability and a foundation for impressive long-term growth for the Company and for the travel and tourism industry in Italy, in which Alitalia is a fundamental player.

Top Copyright Photo: Alitalia’s Airbus A321-112 EI-IXI (msn 494) pushes back from the gate at London’s Heathrow Airport displaying the 1960 retrojet colors.

Alitalia aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Etihad Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Greenwing/AirlinersGallery.com. Both Alitalia and Etihad have painted an Airbus A330 with these promotional Expo Milano 2015 markings.