Observers say the chance of another 11th hour rescue deal for Alitalia seems remote.
It is an anxious wait for staff concerned about their jobs, and passengers who’ve booked tickets.
One man said: “Our flight hasn’t been cancelled. I’m hoping for the best. Alitalia is part of the Italian culture, and it’s a company that has to survive and move forward.”
Another man said: “It’s really bad. I think they should have solved it earlier with Air France. This is an inevitable conclusion, just another sign of how efficient this government is.”
The consortium of investors had proposed to buy the profitable parts of Alitalia, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection since the end of last month.
However, union leaders said that would have led to totally unacceptable levels of cuts to wages and staff.