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Alitalia has filed a request with the Italian government to enter administration proceedings, in a process that will lead to the sale or liquidation of Italy’s flag carrier.

Following a shareholder meeting on Tuesday, the loss-making airline, partly owned by Etihad of the UAE, asked the ministry of economic development to move ahead with the administration.

In a statement Alitalia said the board had unanimously agreed to take the step, noting the “serious economic and financial situation of the company” and the “unfeasibility of finding alternative solutions” quickly.

The government will now have to issue a decree naming between one and three commissioners with broad powers to lead Alitalia in the months ahead, and cut jobs and renegotiate contracts as necessary. Rome has raised the possibility of extending a bridge loan of up to €500m to Alitalia to keep it afloat for about six months, but has ruled out nationalisation.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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