Italy's senate today voted in favour of a decree that extends the timeframe for the Alitalia sale process.

There were 264 votes in favour, 14 abstentions and no votes against the decree on its second reading. It moves the deadline – last set at 30 April – to 31 October, and renews until 15 December the term of a €900 million ($1.04 billion) loan provided to Alitalia.

During the session, the Five Star Movement's senate spokesperson Mario Turco highlighted a €160 million loss accrued by Alitalia and said the carrier's cash balance was "insufficient" to guarantee repayment of the loan and interest.

"Time to avert bankruptcy is tight. Buyers need to be properly chosen so as not to disperse a strategic asset," he adds.

An amendment to the decree specifies that Alitalia's commissioners must make regular reports to the senate on the carrier's "economic and financial situation", providing data on supply contracts, the workforce, and progress toward achieving a set of objectives in preparation for the sale.

The decree also states that the commissioners must seek to construct an "adequate international partnership" for the airline and repurchase slots at London Heathrow airport which were sold to Etihad when it was a stakeholder in Alitalia.

Source: Cirium Dashboard