After acquiring stakes in Serbia's Jat Airways and India's Jet Airways, Etihad Airways may expand its network to include Italy's Alitalia as well, Reuters has reported.
Italian daily newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore claims that negotiations are already underway and that they could lead to the sale of a stake in the Italian lossmaker to Etihad.
The two companies have not yet given any comment on this speculation, but the paper reports that their top managers have already had several meetings.
A 25-percent stake in Alitalia, which has been experiencing huge problems for years now, is held by Air France. One of its shareholders is also a consortium of Italian companies such as Banca Intesa, Atlantia, and IMMSI.
In its industrial plan presented in July, the new CEO said the company planned to increase its financial resources by 300 million euros by the end of this year, while Etihad said at the time there were no talks between the two firms beyond those on code sharing.