THY denies claims of its interest in Alitalia purchase

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 07.06.2017 18:36
Updated 08.06.2017 12:08
Turkish Airlines aircraft are parked at the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 3, 2015. (Reuters Photo)
Turkish Airlines aircraft are parked at the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 3, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

Turkish Airlines (THY) press counselor Wednesday denied claims that the Turkish flag carrier was interested in acquiring Alitalia, as reported in the Italian media.

According to the Italian daily Il Messaggero, THY was among 32 companies that expressed potential interest as a buyer, but it was reported to be only interested in acquiring some of Alitalia's assets, rather than the entire airline.

Another Italian news platform, ItalyEurope24, also claimed that multivariate names of potential buyers had circulated since Monday.

"From the U.S. firm Delta, which revealed that it 'continues to monitor the progress of Alitalia since it entered extraordinary administration,'" as well as other big players, such as the Chinese Hainan Airlines and Air China, Air France, British Airways and Turkish Airlines, as well as Etihad Airways, which said it was open to exploring all options to maintain and potentially strengthen links with Alitalia," reported ItalyEurope24.

Meanwhile, THY Press Counselor Yahya Üstün disputed these claims.

"We are not interested, we have no meetings. The claims are completely unfounded," Üstün said.

The struggling airline kicked off its sale process in May in a bid to save the company. Alitalia was once a symbol of Italy's post-war economic boom, but now is having difficulty competing at home against low-cost carriers and high-speed trains.

THY, the Turkish flag carrier was named Airline of the Year by Air Transport News magazine readers in March last year. The airline was also named Europe's Best Airline, for the sixth consecutive year in the 2016 Skytrax World Airlines Awards.

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