Alitalia relaunch to include 15-percent state ownership

MILAN (AP) — Italian Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio says that the struggling Alitalia airline will be relaunched with the state railway company as a strategic partner.

Di Maio told the business daily il Sole 24 Ore in an interview published Friday that the government intends to create a new company with a 15 percent stake controlled by the Economy Ministry. He said the state-owned national railway, Ferrovie dello Stato, would be a technical partner.

The government is awaiting an Oct. 31 deadline for binding offers to take over Alitalia's assets. The offers process had been launched by the previous government.

Di Maio said the final deal could be with just one partner - for example the railway - or with a mix of private and public partners, including possibly foreign airlines.