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Last Updated: Friday, 16 December 2005, 13:33 GMT
Alitalia raises fresh $445m loan
Alitalia plane
Alitalia has mortgaged 28 of its planes as part of a $445m loan
Italian airline Alitalia has borrowed $445m (252m) from General Electric as it works on a restructuring plan.

The troubled carrier said the loan would run for eight years and would mean mortgaging 28 aircraft.

The loan comes two weeks after Alitalia raised 1bn euros ($1.2bn; 680m) via an issue of new shares, half of which were bought by the Italian government.

The loss-making airline is struggling to survive amid competition from budget airlines and rising fuel costs.

It posted losses of 118.8m euros for the first nine months of 2005, but hopes to return to profit next year as a result of its three-year cost-cutting program, which includes the loss of 3,700 jobs.

The loan from GE Corporate Banking Europe is needed to repay a 400m euro bridging loan the Italian government arranged for the airline last year.

SEE ALSO
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
EU to probe Alitalia 'state aid'
19 Jan 05 |  Business

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