Economy / Transport

Italy promised “sexy” flag-carrying airline

A sexy flight attendant is a common cliche, and Italians are probably happy of hearing James Hogan, the CEO of Etihad, promising them that Alitalia will become “the sexiest airline in Europe”.

Jokes aside, everyone will be hoping that this is finally the end of the odyssey of the Italian flag-carrying airline after so many years in the red and so many injections of public money.

Even the fact that a symbol of Italy is now owned by Arab money doesn’t apparently bother anyone in a traditionally protectionist country. The sale of Alitalia to the French-Dutch group Air France-KLM had been blocked in the past by Mr Berlusconi’s Government to avoid the airline falling in foreign hands, but in the long run supporting it with Italian money had proven impossible.

The Governments of EU Member States cannot pour money into struggling private companies without an authorization from the European Commission.

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