Italy's government has pushed back to the middle of June the deadline to conclude the privatisation of Alitalia.
After receiving a request from Alitalia's commissioners to move the deadline for presenting a "final and binding" offer, minister of economic development Luigi Di Maio has authorised an extension from 30 April to 15 June, states the ministry.
It adds that it hopes that details of the "definitive composition of the acquiring consortium may be received as quickly as possible".
Last month, Italian state rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato, which is seeking to put together a consortium to take over the SkyTeam carrier, disclosed that its board was meeting to discuss a request for a delay in the process, while it sought to conclude talks with potential partners. Ferrovie has previously revealed that it was in talks with both Delta Air Lines and EasyJet, although the UK budget carrier subsequently withdrew from the process.
Speaking to FlightGlobal earlier this month, Alitalia's chief business officer Fabio Lazzerini said the carrier was hoping to conclude negotiations to become an associate member of a new transatlantic joint venture being engineered by Delta and Air France-KLM by the end of this month.
Alitalia has been seeking new investors for two years.