Page last updated at 19:13 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 20:13 UK

Alitalia gets temporary reprieve

The future of Alitalia has been unsure for some time

Alitalia, the airline which is struggling to survive, has been given a temporary reprieve by the Italian civil aviation authority.

ENAC said it would not revoke Alitalia's licence to fly "for now" after Italy's biggest union agreed to a revised rescue plan.

The authority had threatened to ground Alitalia's planes unless it presented an agreed plan by the end of Thursday.

Unions representing pilots and crew are yet to agree to the deal, however.

"For now, the feared risk of yanking the licence isn't there," said ENAC civil aviation chief Vito Riggio.

But he added that ENAC "will monitor Alitalia's financial situation month by month".

The CGIL union said it had signed an agreement with Alitalia, after winning concessions on pay, leave, contracts and temporary jobs.

Four of the nine unions have now agreed to the terms of the rescue deal proposed by investors group CAI. CGIL has urged the remaining five to end their opposition.

Alitalia's government-appointed administrator Augusto Fantozzi said ticket sales had fallen by 100,000 in September, hit by the uncertainty surrounding the airline.

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