Italian construction company Toto Holding, Lazio football club owner Claudio Lotito and Avianca majority shareholder German Efromovich have all presented formal bids for a stake in a consortium to take over Alitalia, the Italian government has disclosed.
Italy's ministry of economic development says all three have submitted official expressions of interest in the flag carrier as a 15 July deadline to complete the privatisation process looms.
One of those bidders will be chosen to complete the consortium to take over Alitalia, unless other interested parties come forward in the remaining days.
The government confirms that infrastructure operator Atlantia, which has previously been linked to a bid for the SkyTeam carrier, did not present any expression of interest.
Italian state rail company Ferrovie dello Stato has pledged to take a 35% stake, Delta Air Lines will acquire 10-15% and the government will hold 15% directly through a shareholding held by the economics ministry. The balance will be taken over by the fourth bidder, it adds.
Minister of economic development Luigi di Maio met with Alitalia's commissioners and unions and labour minister Claudio Duringon on 3 July to discuss the privatisation of the carrier.
Once the process has been completed, discussions between the consortium and unions on a new industrial plan for the airline will begin.
Any new industrial plan will have to "relaunch the airline and guarantee the protection of employment levels", says the government.
It has been seeking a buyer for Alitalia for more than two years.