Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 16:25 UK

Unions backing Alitalia rescue

Silvio Berlusconi had pledged to rescue the national flag carrier

A 1bn-euro (800m; $1.45bn) bail-out of Italian airline Alitalia has won the support of the last two unions who had been opposing the deal.

The support for the rescue package could help clear the way for a relaunch of Italy's flag carrier.

The airline had appeared doomed to liquidation until the rescue emerged.

Last week, the Italian civil aviation authority, ENAC, agreed not to revoke Alitalia's licence to fly after a revised rescue plan was approved.

The SDL and AVIA unions, which represent cabin crew and ground staff had opposed the plan.

However, they have now followed the example of the airline's pilots and changed their minds.

International investment hope

The Italian consortium putting forward the rescue package, CAI, had withdrawn its offer earlier this month after it failed to gain the backing of all Alitalia's unions.

However, the deal was revived last week.

The consortium, led by chairman of the Piaggio scooter firm, Roberto Colaninno, has pledged to inject 1bn euros into the airline, strip away unprofitable parts of the business and then merge it with Italy's second-largest carrier, Air One.

They also hope that an international airline, such as Air France-KLM or Lufthansa will take a minority stake in the firm.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was re-elected in May, had vowed to rescue the airline.

Alitalia is estimated to be losing more than 2m euros every day.

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