Italy has notified the European Commission (EC) of the details of its relaunch efforts for cash-strapped Alitalia, details of which are now being studied by EC officials to verify its compliance with state aid rules.

The cash-strapped carrier filed under recently amended Italian rules for extraordinary administration at the end of August. The administrator has since been working to secure Italian investor group Compagnia Aerea Italiana as a buyer for the bulk of its air transport activities to relaunch the carrier as a separate, debt-free company. It is also identifying possible buyers of other assets of the group.

"The Italian Government notified the European Commission yesterday of the procedure for the extraordinary administration of Alitalia which includes the sale of assets of the company," explains an EC spokesman. "The notification was made to obtain legal certainty, in conformity with the principle of loyal co-operation that has constantly guided relations between Italy and the European Commission in the context of the Alitalia case.

"The European Commission will assess the content of this notification in accordance with the normal procedures in order to verify its compatibility with community rules in matters of state aid."

Irish budget carrier Ryanair has already lodged a complaint with the EC over the latest Alitalia restructuring plan.

The EC recently gave the green light to a Greek plan to relaunch its debt-ridden national carrier Olympic Airlines - which like Alitalia would see a new slimmed down, wholly privately-owned carrier established - as it was compliant with state aid rules.

EC transport chief Antonio Tajani has previously said a relaunch of Alitalia needs to respect community law and show economic discontinuity between Alitalia and a successor carrier.

In June EC regulators launched a probe into the granting of a €300 million bridging loan to Alitalia to address concerns it could constitute state aid. Italy maintains the short-term loan - which is repayable with interest - is a commercial deal and consequently did not notify it as state aid.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news