Alitalia to shed up to 2,500 workers as part of Etihad alliance

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MILAN – Giuliano Poletti, the Italian Labour Minister, on Tuesday in Milan said that Alitalia Airline would lose about a fifth of its 12,800 workforce as part of its upcoming alliance with the United Arab Emirates’ Etihad Airways. Etihad announced its plan to invest in Alitalia on Sunday, but no details were announced.

Poletti said the figure would be discussed with unions and added that the government was ready to offer welfare schemes for those laid off.

 He said the partnership became necessary because Alitalia had not turned a profit since 2002 and needed an international partner to stave off bankruptcy. Poletti said that in the first nine months of 2013 it made a pre-tax loss of 162 million euros, up from 119 million euros in the same period of 2012.

He said the company’s board was due to meet on Friday to discuss Etihad’s offer and to approve full-year 2013 results. (dpa/NAN)