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Etihad Airways' Q1 income climbs 27% to $1.4 bn

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways reported Tuesday a 27-percent annual rise in revenues to $1.4 billion for the first quarter of 2014 on the back of surging passenger and cargo figures. Etihad, which is in advanced talks to buy a stake in Italy's struggling Alitalia, said income from equity partners and codesharing deals increased 23 percent to $223 million in the first three months of 2014, compared with the same period last year. The fast-growing Gulf airline declined to say whether it registered any profits or losses in the quarter.

Italian court bars Emirates from flying key route

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian court has ruled that Emirates cannot operate flights directly between Milan Malpensa airport and New York, upholding a legal challenge brought against the Gulf airline by the Italian carrier association Assaereo. Assaereo, whose biggest member is domestic flagship airline Alitalia, had complained that Italy's civil aviation authority ENAC had granted Emirates the right to extend flights from Dubai to Malpensa onwards to New York's John F Kennedy airport.

Etihad boss meets Italian PM with Alitalia deal close

Etihad Airways boss James Hogan met with Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday, as his company nears a deal to purchase a stake in debt-laden Alitalia airline, Italian media reported. The meeting took place in the prime minister's official residence with Renzi's right-hand man cabinet secretary Graziano Delrio also attending. The Ansa news agency cited sources saying that a deal on could be in place "within hours".

Italian Prime Minister meets Etihad CEO to discuss Alitalia: source

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi met Etihad Airways Chief Executive James Hogan on Thursday to discuss a potential investment in national carrier Alitalia <CAITLA.UL>, a source in the premier's office said. The source said a development could emerge in the coming hours or days. Gulf carrier Etihad is considering an investment in the troubled Alitalia as it seeks to expands its global reach and compete with regional rivals.

Etihad completes health check Alitalia

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has completed its assessment of whether to purchase a stake in Italy's debt-laden airline Alitalia and a draft deal could be imminent, an Italian minister said on Tuesday. "The due diligence has been completed. The letters of intent are being drawn up in these days," Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said at a Senate hearing. Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore also on Tuesday cited informed sources as saying that Alitalia's chief executive Gabriele del Torchio and Etihad chief James Hogan "could meet this week" to discuss the deal.

Etihad CEO says near finalizing next stage of Air Berlin partnership

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Etihad Airways' chief executive said on Monday that the airline was close to sealing the next phase of its partnership with Air Berlin <AB1.DE> and that it was still in due diligence over a possible tie-up with Alitalia. "All our objectives have been met and we are in the final stages of negotiating the next stage of that (Air Berlin) partnership," James Hogan told an aerospace conference in Abu Dhabi, without elaborating.

Etihad's proposal for Alitalia not seen before Monday: sources

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - Etihad Airways' proposal to start formal talks on its potential investment in Alitalia is not expected before Monday, two sources close to the matter said, cooling expectations that negotiations with the Italian airline would gain traction this weekend. Alitalia was kept afloat by a government-engineered 500 million euro ($686 million) rescue package last year but needs to find a cash-rich partner quickly to revamp its flight network or else risk having to ground its planes.

Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo posts $7 billion Q4 loss on write-downs to clean up books

MILAN - Intesa SanPaolo has cleaned out its books with a 5.8 billion-euro ($7.95 billion) write-down on its investments as it joined other Italian banks in preparing for a rigorous Europe-wide stress test, while announcing a slate of asset sales under a plan to boost earnings and dividends. The write-down, which included 3.1 billion euros for non-performing loans, widened Intesa's fourth-quarter loss to 5.2 billion euros ($7 billion) from 83 million euros a year earlier.

Alitalia reaches deal to avoid lay off for 1,900 workers: union

MILAN (Reuters) - Alitalia's <CAITLA.UL> trade unions said on Friday they have reached a deal with the management to avoid lay off for 1,900 workers. The agreement, announced in a statement by the FIT-CISL union, is part of the restructuring plan for the troubled carrier and a prerequisite for a tie-up with Etihad Airways. The Abu Dhabi carrier entered in the final phase of due diligence for a possible investment by in the Italian airline at the beginning of February.

Lufthansa hits out at Etihad's Alitalia plans

German airline Lufthansa hit out Monday at plans by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways to buy debt-laden Alitalia, saying it amounted to covert state aid. "We reject repeated subsidies and partial nationalisation of European airlines, regardless of whether they are bought by European countries or state-run firms outside of Europe," Lufthansa said in a statement. "We call upon the EU Commission to ban such side-stepping tactics," the statement said in a reference to European anti-trust and fair competition regulations.
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