Italy in search of cash to keep Alitalia airborne

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Italy in search of cash to keep Alitalia airborne

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Italy is looking to the banks to provide a temporary financial solution to keep Alitalia airborne.

The company, beset by problems, is looking for its major shareholder Air France-KLM to make a cash investment and increase its 25 percent holding in the airline.

Earlier in the week Italy said it was prepared to sell 50 percent of the company to the Franco-Dutch outfit.

This could prove a major problem for Rome as it has ambitions to make Italy a transport hub for intercontinental flights.

Air France-KLM already operates two hubs, one in Paris the other in Amsterdam, a third could be surplus to requirements.

Alitalia is also attracting interest from Russia, the United Arab Emirates and China.

Since 2009 Alitalia has lost 840 million euros and accumulated debts of 1 billion euros.