Alitalia and Etihad Airways have confirmed 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 confirmed on 14 November 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.
According to Alitalia, the EU decision has approved the largest ever foreign investment in the Italian carrier.
“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,” Gabriele del Torchio, Chief Executive Officer of Alitalia, said.
According to Etihad Airways, an equity investment in Alitalia will be beneficial not only for the both airlines, but it will give more choice and broader travel opportunities to business and leisure travelers into and out of Italy.