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Italy Looks for Buyer for Financially-Troubled Alitalia Airlines


Italy's national airline Alitalia says it expects its losses in 2006 to total more than $491 million as the government seeks to sell its share of the financially-troubled air carrier.

Monday is the deadline for bids for Alitalia. The Italian government owns 50 percent of the airline. Reports say potential buyers include Air France and the Netherlands' KLM.

The Financial Times newspaper says bidders are demanding the government allow them to totally restructure Alitalia. Italy has set strict conditions for potential buyers.

Competition from so-called no frills airlines along with recent high fuel costs and and a drop in travel early in the decade has left Alitalia deep in debt.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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