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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 22:23 GMT
Fresh losses at troubled Alitalia
Alitalia plane
Alitalia has been hit by several wildcat strikes
Troubled Italian airline Alitalia has reported fresh quarterly losses, hit by strike action and high fuel prices.

The carrier saw a pre-tax loss of 65.8m euros ($84.2m; 44.3m) in the third quarter, compared with a profit of 15.7m euros at the same time last year.

Alitalia warned that total losses for 2006 would exceed last year's losses of more than 221m euros.

The Italian government has pledged to draw up a new rescue plan for the airline by the end of January.

Prime Minister Romano Prodi last month described Alitalia's financial problems as "completely out of control".

Brussels warning

Alitalia, which is 49% state-owned, has long been seeking a tie-up with Europe's biggest airline, Air France KLM.

However, the Franco-Dutch giant has ruled that a deal involving Alitalia can only take place once the Italian airline has resolved its financial difficulties.

The Italian government recently indicated that it would now prefer an alliance between Alitalia and an Asian airline.

In October, the European Commission said Alitalia should focus on restructuring its operations rather than looking for a state bailout.

Rome last year gave Alitalia a 400m euro loan as part of a previous restructuring plan.

Despite the third-quarter loss and forecast of increased annual losses, Alitalia forecast a profit for the final three months of year.

The firm added that its revenues rose to 1.23bn euros in the third quarter, up from 1.15bn euros in the year before.

Recovery plan cuts Alitalia loss
28 Feb 06 |  Business
Alitalia raises fresh $445m loan
16 Dec 05 |  Business
Government to Alitalia's rescue
11 Nov 05 |  Business
Alitalia unions agree cost deal
13 Oct 05 |  Business
EU backs Alitalia turnaround plan
08 Jun 05 |  Business

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