Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 16:42 UK

Alitalia 'running out of fuel'

Alitalia plane
Negotiations with unions will be critical to saving the airline

Italy's national airline, Alitalia, may have to cancel some flights because of a lack of funds to buy fuel, a top official has warned.

Augusto Fantozzi, Alitalia's bankruptcy administrator, made the comments as he called unions to emergency talks a day after the latest session broke down.

The unions earlier quoted him as saying flights could not be "guaranteed" because we cannot "get fuel".

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi blamed "political" motives for the failure.

He said he would do all he could to save Alitalia from collapse.

"The executive is always ready... to give all the possible support to get to the only solution possible to avoid the airline going bust," he said.

Alitalia later issued a note it said was sent by Mr Fantozzi, which said: "There are difficulties relating to the supply of fuel which could put some flights at risk," Reuters news agency said.

Italian investment consortium CAI, which was poised to take over the company's profitable parts, walked away from talks with the unions on Friday, accusing them of intransigence.

CAI chief executive Rocco Sabelli said on Saturday it was not ready to make any further concessions.

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