Financial problems at Meridiana Fly prompt closer scrutiny from regulator

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Troubled Italian carrier Meridiana Fly has been placed under financial supervision by the country's civil aviation regulator ENAC just weeks after it announced a large-scale restructuring programme.

Sardinia-based Meridiana, which also owns fellow carrier Air Italy, says the operating licence was suspended by ENAC on 11 January and replaced with a temporary permit which will be re-issued on a monthly basis. The regulator will closely monitor both airlines' financial position, it says.

The change will not affect its operations "and does not involve changes either in terms of safety or regularity of links", it says.

Parent company Meridiana SpA "will maintain its financial support", the airline says.

Shortly before Christmas, the carrier announced it was furloughing 600 staff and putting 10 aircraft up for sale in an attempt to trim losses.

Last year ENAC applied the same supervisory procedure to Blue Panorama Airlines, which is in Italy's equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.