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Alitalia may lose 2,200 jobs in tie-up with Etihad

Struggling Italian airline Alitalia will have to shed 2,200 jobs as part of its planned tie-up with Etihad Airways, which has promised to invest 560 million euros (US$760m).

MILAN: Struggling Italian airline Alitalia will have to shed 2,200 jobs as part of its planned tie-up with Etihad Airways, which has promised to invest 560 million euros ($760 million), the head of the Italian airline said on Monday.

Negotiations have been running for months for the Emirati airline to take a 49 per cent stake in Alitalia, which currently employs 12,800 people and is facing bankruptcy.

The Italian airline will have to go through a restructuring that is "complex, tiring and painful -- there is no alternative," said Gabriele del Torchio, Alitalia's chief executive, on the sidelines of a conference in Rome.

It had previously said as many as 2,500 jobs were on the line.

The airline's management hopes to finalise a deal on the company's debt by Friday.

Del Torchio said talks with banking creditors were "very advanced", and that they were demanding "a sacrifice".

"I think it will take only a few weeks to conclude the deals with Etihad," he said, adding that a successful deal would send "an important signal" about Italy to foreign investors.

AirFrance-KLM also owns a stake in Alitalia, but chose not to pursue taking over the Italian airline after it could not get similar guarantees on deep restructuring to make it profitable.

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