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Offer on the table for Alitalia

  Offer on the table for Alitalia
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The Italian consortium set to save the stricken carrier Alitalia has made a final offer for the airline despite union opposition.

The Italian Air Company decided to go ahead with the offer without the support of unions representing pilots and cabin crew.

The airline, which is close to 50 percent state-owned, is losing around three million euros per day and has debts of around 1.2 billion euros, which will now be handed down to Italian tax payers.

Under the terms of the offer, worth around one billion euros, the Italian Air Company would retain around 12,500 Alitalia staff while laying off 3,000.

One of the best-known names in aviation, Alitalia has been operating since 1946.

Despite the government pumping close to five billion euros into the airline between 1998 and 2005 it has continued to leak money.

Keeping Alitalia airborne was one of the main election promises on which Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ran for office in April.

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