Italy's National Airline Could Shut Down Within Week

Balky unions have hampered efforts to find buyer for bankrupt Alitalia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2008 2:19 PM CDT
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said today that Alitalia would face certain liquidation if a reorganization deal isn't reached soon.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Italy’s aviation authority is poised to ground Alitalia permanently if the bankrupt national carrier doesn’t present a credible reorganization plan by Thursday, ANSA reports. The airline is laden with debt and flying under a provisional license, one the aviation authority will revoke if it doesn’t get an acceptable proposal.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi doesn't think other carriers will want to help save Alitalia, which has seen suitors scared off by various union complaints. "Time is running out," said one aviation official, though he said the board could perhaps be "a little more flexible if it's just a matter of days, since thousands of jobs are at stake."