With the Italian government ready to sell its stake in Alitalia Airlines, the company could no longer avoid taking a writedown on its fleet or €197 million ($264.9 million), says Air Transport World. That put the airline’s full-year loss at €625.6 million ($841.4 million). The company said the 2006 loss, combined with the €147.5 million ($198.4 million) pre-tax loss reported in the first quarter of 2007 exceeds a third of the company capital.
The government is going forward with plans to privatize the airline and will permit three bidders access to restricted company data in order to prepare bids (which are due July 2).
Russian airline Aeroflot is still a contender, though it has also made an offer for Serbia’s Jat Airways. Aeroflot reportedly will borrow $1.08 to $1.21 billion to finance its bid for the Italian government’s share of Alitalia and could refinance the debt using Eurobonds.